Seven-pointplan to fight air pollution in capital
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced a seven-point action plan to fight air pollution in the national Capital during the coming winter months. the action plan , Kejriwal said, will be implemented in phases and is likely to be started in October when crop burning begins in neighbouring states and pollution levels escalate in the city.
Kejriwal said the government is working on setting up a “war room” – which will operate like a central control room – for monitoring and ensuring effective implementation of the plan, which the CM categorised as an “emergency measure”.
Within the ambit of the plan, the Delhi government has scheduled a 12-day window, between November 4 and 15, for implementation of the odd-even number-plate-based road rationing scheme, irrespective of what actual pollution levels in the city stand out to be at that time.
A day before he made the announcement, the chief minister met with experts associated with the Energy Policy Institute of University of Chicago, who presented a study on which they had collaborated with researchers from the Harvard University.
The study was on the first odd-even experiment in Delhi in January 2016. The findings suggested that the intensity of PM 2.5 in Delhi’s air had reduced by around 14%-16% during that time, the government said in a statement.
Other measures under the action plan include a scheme of free distribution of N-95 grade pollution masks, a mega laser show on Diwali and anti-firecracker campaigns to be organised be the Delhi government, deployment of “environment marshals” in residential areas to keep check on waste burning, ensuring control of dust pollution by investing in water sprinklers, mechanised sweepers, and launching an initiative in which residents will be encouraged to plant saplings at their homes.
The plan also includes drafting a strategy to keep in check air quality levels in 12 pollution hotspots in the city, including Anand Vihar ISBT, R K Puram, Mundka, Okhla Phase 2, Rohini, Dwarka and Bawana.
At this stage, the Delhi government is working on the “implementation modalities” of all measures under the announced action plan, Kejriwal said, adding: “for that we are regularly engaging with experts, resident welfare associations and people who contributed through email on an email ID the government had launched last week to seek solutions from residents of the city.”
“If we remove the points on odd-even and plans for Diwali, we get a five-point action plan. And that will be Delhi’s winter action plan for fighting pollution. The five-point plan will be applicable till the end of winters,” he said.
Kejriwal added that the government is also working on a long-term plan to combat pollution. The long-term plan would include investing in buses, rationalising of existing bus routes in the city, investing on last-mile connectivity, edge-to-edge green paving of all major roads under the Public Works Departments and making policies for implementing e-vehicles.