Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal releases 10-point winter action plan to fight pollution

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he has been requesting the central government and neighbouring states but no step has been taken to stop stubble burning and other things which have adverse impact on the national capital's air quality.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today unveiled an action plan to stop the deterioration of air quality in the national capital during winters.(Amal KS/HT File Photo)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today unveiled an action plan to stop the deterioration of air quality in the national capital during winters.(Amal KS/HT File Photo)
Published on Oct 04, 2021 12:51 PM IST
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By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday released a 10-point winter action plan for the national capital. He said that the plan will help combat air pollution in Delhi, which deteriorates during the winter season due to a number of factors, including stubble burning by the farmers in nearby states.

"I have been posting Delhi's air quality recordings since September 15, and we have seen that Delhi's pollution levels are in control. But since the central and neighbouring state governments have not done much to help farmers, Delhi's air quality will start deteriorating in a few days because of stubble burning," Kejriwal said while addressing a press conference.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief added that he has been requesting the central government and neighbouring states but no step has been taken to stop stubble burning and other things which have adverse impact on the national capital's air quality.

"Instead of playing the blame-counter blame game, we have found a solution to stubble burning. We have requested the central government to take into consideration our request and hope this alternate plan will be implemented," said Kejriwal.

Here are the 10 steps listed by Kejriwal to check the pollution level in Delhi during winters:

1. Stubble burning: We have prepared a decomposer (a solution) with the help of Pusa Institute. This solution, once sprayed on the crop residue will eliminate the need to burn it. Delhi government has been spraying it for free, Punjab and other states too can do the same.

2. Anti-dust campaign to be strengthened: We have formed 75 teams which will survey the entire national capital and impose heavy penalty on those who are found violating the government's dust pollution norms.

3. Stopping the burning of garbage: 250 teams have been formed for this.

4. Ban on firecrackers

5. Installation of smog towers: These towers have shown good so far and they will continue to analyse results before taking a call to install more such structures.

6. Monitoring of pollution hotspots using app

7. Green War Rooms are being strengthened. Kejriwal said that the Delhi government has hired 50 environment engineers.

8. The Green Delhi app is being constantly monitored. Public is also encouraged to use it and lodge complaints of any violation, said Kejriwal.

9. Eco waste park: This is the first such park being constructed in the country, said Kejriwal. Twenty acres of land has been allotted for the project.

10. Vehicular pollution: The AAP chief said that steps are being taken to minimise traffic jams to reduce the emissions caused by cars and other vehicles. The chief minister said that 64 congestion points have been identified across Delhi and steps will be taken to control traffic and resultant pollution here. “We have also intensified checking for Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates and are cracking down on diesel vehicles older than 10 years,” Kejriwal added.

Before listing the 10-point approach, Kejriwal also talked about the work done by his government to bring the pollution level down in Delhi:

1. Delhi has provided 24x7 electricity. This has controlled the use of thousands of diesel generator sets that used to run in the city.

2. We are focussing on bringing down the level of dust pollution, said Kejriwal, adding that Construction sites are being monitored regularly.

3. Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways have helped control the number of trucks coming into Delhi.

4. Two coal fired thermal power plants have been shut down

5. 100% conversion of industries to PNG

6. Tree transplantation policy was brought in by the Delhi government to reduce the number of trees being cut for construction projects

7. Green Delhi app is operational where people can lodge their complaints

8. Green war room has been made, where the pollution levels in Delhi is being constantly monitored.

9. Graded Response Action plan was implemented in Delhi on the directions of the supreme court

10. Electric vehicle policy was implemented in the city

Pollution in Delhi

Delhi was the most polluted capital city in the world in 2020 for the third consecutive year, according to a report by a Swiss group that ranked cities based on their air quality measured in terms of the levels of ultrafine particulate matter (PM 2.5) that can enter the organs and cause lasting damage.

The World Air Quality Report, 2020 by IQAir that was released globally in March this year showed that Delhi recorded an annual average PM 2.5 concentration of 84.1ug/m3.

Delhi was also ranked the 10th most polluted of the 50 cities from where data was analysed.

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