- People of Delhi need not panic, several steps are being taken: Mr Vardhan
- Minister Hooda to table Right to Clean Air Bill as private member bill
- Deforestation, illegal mining pose serious threat to environment: CM Yogi
New Delhi: Delhi-NCR continues to choke and breathe toxic air. According to experts, breathing Delhi’s toxic air for a day is equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes. As Delhi-NCR struggles to breathe, politics over pollution was split wide open. With Chief Ministers and leaders from different political parties locked in a bitter blame game and Courts, Green Tribunal slamming them for inaction.
As Delhi witnesses a slight improvement in its air quality, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on November 11 asked people to not panic. He also stressed on how for the first time, a focussed approach has been adopted to deal with health emergency through the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
The minister said,
The people of Delhi need not panic, as several steps are being taken by the Government to mitigate air pollution. Focussed attention at the highest level has been ensured through committees headed by the union minister, minister of state, environment ministry and its secretary.
Minister Harsh Vardhan also talked about the measures taken to combat the problem of air pollution. He said, short-term measures like ban on diesel generators, civil construction, entry of trucks, hike in parking fee, are being executed. Recently, the environment ministry also formed a high-level committee to monitor the situation.
Also Read: Decoding Delhi’s Air Pollution: Move Over Stubble Burning; Vehicles, Construction Dust And Waste Burning Prime Culprits For Delhi’s Toxic Air
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described Delhi’s air pollution as ‘national emergency’ and said that the centre should discuss the problem with neighbouring states to find out a solution. The minister took to social media and through a twitter post urged people to stop the blame game and come up with a viable and a sustainable solution.
“Global warming is a problem. Delhi pollution a disaster. Instead of blaming each other, I suggest Centre sits with CMs of neighbouring states – Punjab, Haryana Delhi – to solve problem. Only to accuse Delhi CM is not solution. It’s national problem & we need to find a solution”.
Global warming is a problem. Delhi pollution a disaster. Instead of blaming each other, I suggest Centre sits with CMs of neighbouring states – Punjab, Haryana Delhi – to solve problem. Only to accuse Delhi CM is not solution. It’s national problem & we need to find a solution
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 10, 2017
While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged for a solution, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath urged for strict measures to ward off current situation from the state. He also talked about the threats caused by deforestation and illegal mining.
At a function at Devi Patan Shaktipeeth, the minister said,
Deforestation and illegal mining pose serious threat to the environment and if these are not checked, these can cause a serious threat to human life.
It is because the environment has been harmed that there is the problem of smog because of which people are experiencing breathing problems and also getting serious ailments, Minister Adityanath added.
Also Read: Delhi Pollution: Newborns Beginning Their Lives Virtually As Smokers, Says Health Experts
Deepender Singh Hooda, Congress Member of Parliament from Rohtak requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lead a committee of chief ministers of north Indian states to mitigate the problem of air pollution.
#Smog: Passing the buck from one state to another is unacceptable. It’s a national disaster, and in national interest as an opposition MP from NCR, I urge @PMOIndia to call a meeting of all concerned State CMs/MPs with an aim to come up with a concrete action plan + budget. pic.twitter.com/3SZeqKnbdb
— Deepender S Hooda (@DeependerSHooda) November 10, 2017
Minister Hooda plans to table a Right to Clean Air Bill as a private member bill in Lok Sabha in winter session. He will act as a bridge between citizens and the legislature as he will incorporate the views and suggestions of the citizens.
I am planning to move a Right to Clean Air Bill as a private member bill in Lok Sabha, in the winter session. This is a bill in which I will be putting together thoughts of all citizens, experts: Deepender Hooda,Congress #AirPollution pic.twitter.com/cqimoO9zQ0
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2017
We need to rise above political blame-games and find lasting solution to this problem for the sake of our next generation, Minister Hooda wrote in a letter to the PM.
Data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed that the Air Quality Index (AQI) value of Delhi on November 13 at 5 PM was a ‘severe’ 460, PM2.5 being the major pollutant and Ghaziabad has a ‘severe’ 497. While several steps are being taken to give some relief to the citizens of Delhi-NCR, the implementation of odd-even traffic regulation scheme remains uncertain. Also clarity is awaited on the long term cohesive strategy of improving Delhi’s public transport, stricter emission norms, push towards electric vehicle and tackling industrial pollution and waste burning.
With inputs from PTI
Also Read: Comprehensive Plan Needed To Tackle Severe Air Pollution: Supreme Court