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Air Pollution

Swachh Hawa, Swachh Bharat: Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Asks Scientists To Develop Zero-Pollution Firecrackers This Diwali

Union Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan appealed citizens to take into consideration the adverse effects on health and environment due to a spike in air pollution during the festival of Diwali


“Swachh and Swasth Bharat cannot be achieved without Swachh Hawa,” said Union Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan as he flagged off the ‘Run for Clean Air’ campaign which also commemorated the birth anniversary of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on October 15. A mini marathon event was organised in the capital near India Gate to spread awareness on ill-effects of air pollution. During the event, the minister urged Indian scientists to come up with firecrackers that will not cause any pollution or compromise the quality of air during the festival of Diwali.

“With Deepawali festivities in the air, I’ve asked our scientists to develop Zero-pollution fire-crackers that don’t cause any health hazards,” tweeted Dr Vardhan.

Taking the momentum of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan forward and extending the Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali’ campaign, the minister took an oath to promote clean air and said that cleanliness has to be a collective approach, “Government has been taking many steps to address the issue. For a comprehensive addressal of the issue a collective approach is required,” he said.

Also Read: Diwali Effect: Here’s A Look At How These Cities Choked Due To Air Pollution In 2016

Along with the minister, 10,000 students from various schools in Delhi and the NCR administered the green pledge. Schools of Delhi-NCR region were looped in the Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali campaign to make children the agents of social change.

“I administered the Green Pledge to thousands of children present on the occasion. When they take a pledge, they ensure it becomes a success and exhorted children to spread the message throughout the nation.” said the minister.

In light of the Supreme Court’s latest decision to ban the sale of crackers in Delhi-NCR regions to prevent the air quality from deteriorating post Diwali, Dr Vardhan addressed the issue of burning crackers. He said people must not turn a blind eye to the environmental and health problems that arise due to rise in pollution during Diwali. He also attributed the rise in air pollution during winters to other reasons like crop burning, adverse meteorological conditions and the increased emissions from existing sources.

“Health and other environmental issues due to episodic rise of air pollution in our cities during Diwali cannot be ignored,” Dr Vardhan said.

Also Read: If Delhiites Don’t Celebrate Diwali Cracker Free, Then The City Will Choke. Here’s Why

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