The Delhi Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has consistently worked to tackle air pollution and in making Delhi a more environment-friendly city through its administrative will resulting in bringing down the pollution level by 15 per cent, said Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai.
The statement came after a report prepared by the Swiss organisation, IQAir, in the form of the ‘World Air Quality Report’ released which stated that Delhi ranked as the 10th most polluted city and the top polluted capital city in the world. However, it shows that Delhi’s air quality improved by approximately 15 percent from 2019 to 2020.
Talking about the report, Rai said, “Nine cities in the top 10 include cities from Uttar Pradesh. Delhi used to be polluted, but the condition is slowly improving, with reports stating that pollution has seen a fall of 15 per cent and the reason for this reduction is the consistent and diligent efforts of the Kejriwal Government.”
Rai said that under the leadership of Kejriwal Government, the city has seen reduced pollution and an increased green belt. “The Delhi Government has been working to bring about a fuel change policy, tree transplantation policy and a progressive Electric Vehicle policy besides installing smog guns in worse-affected areas,” he said.
The Delhi Government had in collaboration with the PUSA Institute made bio decomposers to eliminate stubble burning, worked on war-footing to fight dust pollution, worked on a Green Delhi app to help identify the problem areas in the city, he said.
“We have launched a war room to tackle pollution. Delhi is the first in the country to shut down its power thermal plants. The Government has shown a clear intention to eliminate pollution and brought about several steps to do so thereby attempting to make Delhi more environment-friendly,” he said.
Rai said that given the manifold steps of Kejriwal government, it was now up to the Central government to do its bit. He said that the intention of the Central government was clear, which had done nothing to shut down polluting thermal power plants that are still functional in neighboring states. The Central government had taken no step to shut down brick kilns and the result is for all to see.
The minister further said, “The Central Government had allowed the lapse of the Commission for Air Quality Management and nothing could be done until the Central Government gets serious about combating pollution. The pollution in North India is to do with air pollution, and governments must work together to come up with a viable, workable solution.”
“The Delhi government had submitted a petition to the Commission for Air Quality Management to address stubble burning, but now with the Commission having lapsed, the issue remains unaddressed. Only if governments begin to work now to address air pollution, can we aim for a better future,” he added.
As per the report, India continues to feature prominently at the top of the most polluted cities ranking, with 22 of the top 30 most polluted cities globally.
Besides Delhi, the 21 other Indian cities among the 30 most polluted cities in the world are Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Bisrakh Jalalpur, Noida, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Agra and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Bhiwari in Rajasthan, Faridabad, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, Bandhwari, Gurugram, Yamuna Nagar, Rohtak and Dharuhera in Haryana, and Muzaffarpur in Bihar, the report said.