Delhi Government to put forth a joint action plan to combat air pollution

Environment minister for Delhi, Gopal Rai, had proposed a joint action plan to combat air pollution with Delhi’s neighboring states Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to tackle the significant levels of air pollution in Delhi during the winters. Rai on Tuesday stated that the Delhi Government would prepare a winter action plan and sought aid from Punjab and Rajasthan as well. 

The national capital had already taken several measures to minimize air pollution last year. Minister Rai released a statement saying that the Delhi Government had launched the ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ campaign to control the levels of pollution due to vehicles. Rai added that the government also organized an anti-dust campaign and stated that this program could be used in the NCR regions of other states. 

Minister Rai, in the statement, added that there would be a group of representatives who would call the Central Government’s Air Quality Commission and the Union’s Environment Minister to discuss the necessity of a collective action plan to combat air pollution. Adding to this, Minister Rai stated that the joint plan can then be implemented in Delhi and its neighbors to combat air pollution levels during winter. 

Delhi often faces adverse levels of air pollution during winters. Several road accidents were a result of the dense fog obstructing the travelers’ way and was often a serious concern in the national capital. Mr. Kejriwal and his cabinet have implemented several safety measures to control the air quality in Delhi. A complete ban of firecrackers last year, owing to the ongoing Covid-19 situation helped minimize the pollution levels to an extent. 

Currently, the Government plans to implement several other effective measures to limit the exceeding values of pollution in Delhi. Minister Rai stated that he and his team would discuss the plans with the Central Commission and the union minister for Environment, “problem of stubble burning in neighboring states,” and the measures put forth by the Delhi Government to address these concerns.

The minister also stated that the issues would be raised before the union minister and the central panel, and added that it would be hard to tackle the stubble burning problem if these efforts are not favoring in this direction. Minister Rai also stated that the Delhi Government experimented with a Pusa bio decomposer for fermenting the stubble. This microbial solution is known to convert stubble into manure, and it delivered considerable results, stated Mr. Rai. 

Minister Rai said, “We are now at a juncture where the governments of the states surrounding Delhi need to take cognizance of the bio-decomposing solution.” He added that the neighboring states of Delhi, i.e., Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Haryana need to support the Delhi Government’s move and adopt these measures. Mr. Rai concluded by saying that the Delhi Government and his team will start preparing the said winter plan early next week, calling upon the national capital’s neighbors to cooperate and implement the proposed measures.