Delhi govt will have to act on pollution: Javadekar
In the wake of alarming air quality and mounting piles of garbage in Delhi, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said the state government will have to work in this regard and assured his ministry's complete support.
He also announced that National Air Quality Index will be launched in ten cities including Delhi to enhance public awareness and involvement in air quality improvement.
On the pollution in the national capital, the Minister said he had held three meetings with the state government to discuss the issue.
"We held three meetings with Delhi government and held detailed discussions on issues like sewerage management, solid waste, pollution control, monitoring of dust particles. They assured us to submit an action plan till 31 March," he said, adding that the ministry has not received any plans so far and would wait for it.
"It is the responsibility of Delhi government to come up with the action plan as soon as possible. It will have to work as people can see garbage all around the city and sewerage is also not being treated properly," he said at a press conference here.
Elaborating about the Air Quality index, Javadekar said, "The index will inform public about air quality in simple understandable form. On real-time basis, it would be available for ten cities," he said, adding that 20 state capitals and 46 cities with million-plus population will be covered in the next couple of years.
Stressing on the need to change mindset, Javadekar said pollution has to be fought with on daily basis.
"It is not that CNG is done, the job is done. It is a continuous process. We have to improve upon everyday in areas like compliance mechanism, emission control, etc," he said. Stressing that dust, coming from neighbouring states like Rajasthan and stubble burning, apart from increasing vehicular population and use of diesel, was a major problem in Delhi, he said roads need to be cleaned with machines and not by brooms.
"Dust is a serious problem in Delhi as it comes from neighbourng states like Rajasthan with soil being loose-soil here in north India. So, we should clean roads with machine and not with broom so that dust doesn't blow up," he said.
"Also, the stubble burning that takes place in and around Delhi in April, November, December and January also creates tremendous smog in the city. So, launching of comprehensive National Air Quality Index will be new beginning to tackle these problems," he said.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest is holding a first of its kind two-day national conference of country-wide Environment and Forest Ministers to discuss simplification and strict compliance of environment laws, which will also be attended by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.