Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched a mega anti-air pollution campaign to reduceair pollution levels in the national Capital. Under the campaign “Yudh Pradushan ke Virudh”, separate plans have been prepared for each of the 13 pollution hotspots in the city, Kejriwal said, adding polluted air can be life threatening in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chief Minister announced various measures to combat pollution such as the launching of the Green Delhi App, creation of a war room to monitor steps, processing liquid solution for farm fields to prevent stubble burning, implementing hotspot-specific action plans to contain pollution and subsidy on the adoption of electronic vehicles.
Kejriwal also appealed to the States to take measures to tackle stubble burning in their States by providing alternatives to the farmers, and by addressing issues in thermal power plants and brick kiln plants that are major sources of pollution.
Addressing the media on Monday, Kejriwal said the pollution level actually decreased between 2014 and 2019 in Delhi despite surge in economic and industrial activities in the city. “The average PM2.5 in 2014 was 154, and PM2.5 in 2018-19 was 115. It is because of the efforts of all the people of Delhi, the pollution levels have come down by 25 per cent,” he said.
“This year, the pollution may prove to be a health hazard for us due to Corona. In the last five years, the Government has taken many steps to ensure pollution-free Delhi. The central Government constructed the Eastern and Western peripheral highway which has drastically reduced the traffic in Delhi. The Delhi Government has banned some of the dirtiest fuels from use in industry and we shifted all the industries to the use of PNG. We imposed heavy fines on construction sites violating dust control norms and conducted plantation drives and followed the directions of the Supreme Court regarding the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan,” he said.
Kejriwal also convened a meeting with various departments, who have all joined hands in this war against pollution announced by the CM, including the three MCDs, PWD, Delhi Government, DPCC, Pollution Control Board, transport department, etc.
Unveiling the components of the anti-pollution campaign this year, Kejriwal added, “This year, the Delhi Government will spray the solution on the basmati rice farm fields itself. If this technique is successful in Delhi, we can tell the other States to implement the same to prevent stubble burning. The Delhi Government is preparing the mixture in Delhi on a large scale, and the process will start tomorrow under the guidance of the Pusa Research Institute.”
“We are also launching an intensive anti-dust drive from today under which various action plans will be implemented. Our inspection teams will visit the construction sites across Delhi and impose heavy fines or challans if they are found not following the anti-pollution measures in construction sites. Mechanical sweepers will be intensively used by MCDs across Delhi to ensure no pollution due to road dust. I have also instructed agencies to repair the potholes which are also one of the main sources of pollution. Anti-smog guns have also been installed across Delhi to reduce the impact of pollution,” he added.
The Government will also be launching the Green Delhi App this month on which pictures of any pollution related violations can be clicked and posted for action, he said, adding that a war room against pollution will also be created for monitoring of various measures that are implemented and have to be implemented in the coming days.