Delhi pollution: Gopal Rai urges Centre to call joint meeting of NCR states
"People of Delhi can't reduce the 70 per cent of the external sources of pollution," the Delhi enviornment minister said on Thursday.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Gopal Rai on Thursday urged Union minister Bhupender Yadav to call an urgent joint meeting of environment ministers from NCR states to chalk out a joint action plan to curb the rising air pollution in the region. "Responsibilities of each state should be fixed to implement that plan and reduce pollution," he also said in a press conference in Delhi.
The Delhi environment minister also cited a study from the Indian Institute of Tropical Management (IITM), a central government-run body, that 69 per cent share in Delhi's air pollution between October 24 and November 8 was from external sources. "People of Delhi can't reduce the 70 per cent of the external sources of pollution," he said. "That's why I am requesting again the Union environment minister to call a joint meeting of environment ministers from NCR states and make a joint action plan," he added
He also quoted a similar study done by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in 2016 which had shown that 64% pollution of Delhi is due to external sources.
This comes as the air quality in Delhi plunged to hazardous levels as the pollutant particles in the environment grew. The city faces a similar situation every year with an onset of winters due to the stubble burning, emissions from transport, coal-fired plants outside the city and other industries, as well as open garbage burning and dust.
On Wednesday, the Delhi environment minister unveiled a 10-point plan which included curbs on vehicular movements, work from home for all government employees and a ban on all construction and demolition work.
Schools in the city have also been until further notice in view of the pollution.
Speaking during the conference on Thursday, Rai also informed that the Delhi government has taken a number of steps to control the pollution, but "requires a joint effort from all NCR states such as Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh."
He alleged that construction activities are going unabated in surrounding areas of Delhi, which is further worsening the air.