Kejriwal seeks suggestions from Delhiites to reduce pollution

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CM quotes govt. data to highlight pollution has dipped by 25% over the last 3 years

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday sought suggestions from citizens to reduce pollution in the Capital during winter months when stubble burning in neighbouring States such as Punjab and Haryana affects its ambient air quality.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Kejriwal said people can send their suggestions at till September 12 even as he quoted government data which states that air pollution in Delhi has reduced by 25% over the last three years.

“It is extremely essential to avoid the situation of Delhi becoming a gas chamber every year with the advent of winter, mainly due to stubble burning in the nearby States. I met Haryana Chief Minister as well as Union Minister for Environment and got the assurance of positive steps in this regard,” the Chief Minister said at a press conference.

Action plan for winter

“At the same time, we like to know from the people about the possible steps to be taken to save our family members from the harmful effects of air pollution in Delhi. Once we receive and study these suggestions, we will present a detailed pollution action-plan of Delhi government for the upcoming winter months,” he further said.

During the peak season from October 25 to November 20, lot of stubble-burning incidents are reported in the neighbouring States, which adds to the pollution level in the national capital, he said.

Mr. Kejriwal claimed that in the last three years, there has been 25% reduction in the overall pollution level because of a slew of measures taken by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and others, including Supreme Court, Union government, Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) and civic bodies.

Currently, he claimed, 40 air-quality monitoring systems are operating in Delhi to get real-time data and 4,000 buses will soon be procured which will also result in reduction in pollution level. Pollution level started declining in the city since 2015, Mr. Kejriwal said, and listed measures taken by the government agencies concerned for the reduction in the air pollution level.

Use of diesel generators has almost been stopped in Delhi due to which “good result” has started showing, he said. Other measures in this direction, he said, included the introduction of the environment compensation charge, construction of eastern and western peripheral expressways and dust-control measures during construction work.

A massive tree plantation drive, closure of Badarpur and Rajghat power plants and the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) are among the measures which contributed to reduction of pollution level in Delhi, Mr. Kejriwal added.

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