Delhi govt unveils 15-point action plan to combat winter pollution

Kejriwal highlighted that due to the collective efforts of Delhi’s residents in recent years, there has been a notable reduction of approximately 30 percent in pollution levels

| Updated: 29 September, 2023 7:36 pm IST
Delhi CM Kejriwal unveils 15-Point Winter Action Plan to tackle air pollution

NEW DELHI: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a robust 15-point winter action plan on Friday, aiming to curb air pollution during the upcoming winter season.

Kejriwal highlighted that due to the collective efforts of Delhi’s residents in recent years, there has been a notable reduction of approximately 30 percent in pollution levels.

The government has devised a comprehensive winter action plan, which includes specific strategies for addressing pollution hotspots across the city, distributing bio-decomposer on over 5,000 acres of farmland, monitoring construction sites, employing anti-dust machines, and measures to reduce vehicular emissions.

“While we acknowledge that today’s situation is not ideal, it demonstrates that we are on the right path. Pollution levels have decreased by approximately 30% compared to 2014. In contrast, other states have seen an increase in pollution alongside development, but that’s not the case with Delhi,” he said.

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The chief minister backed his statements with official data from the Central government regarding pollution levels. He stated, “In 2014, the PM2.5 level was 149, and today it stands at 103. PM10, which was at 324 in 2014, has now reduced to 223. This represents a significant reduction of approximately 30% in pollution levels.”

“In 2016, there were only 109 days with ‘Good Air’ in terms of pollution levels, and this has now increased to 163. Moreover, the number of ‘Severe Air’ days has decreased from 26 in 2016 to just 6,” he added.

The 15-point winter action plan includes:

Special action plans for 13 pollution hotspots: Thirteen identified pollution hotspots will each have a dedicated action plan. Thirteen specialized teams and a war room have been established to focus intensively on reducing pollution levels in these areas.

Stubble burning: Free distribution of bio-decomposers will cover over 5,000 acres of both Basmati and non-Basmati agricultural land.

Dust pollution: Construction sites will be closely monitored, and anti-smog guns will be mandatory for construction sites covering more than 5,000 sq. meters. To control dust during road cleaning, 82 mechanical road-sweeping machines have been deployed. Additionally, 530 water sprinkling machines and 258 mobile anti-smog guns will be used for road watering.

Vehicle pollution: Mandatory Pollution Under Check (PUC) certification will continue. Stringent measures are in place to ban 10-year-old diesel vehicles and 15-year-old petrol vehicles, with 385 dedicated enforcement teams.

Ban on open waste burning: Burning garbage in the open is completely prohibited in Delhi, with 611 monitoring teams in place.

Industrial pollution: Monitoring of 1,727 industrial units operating on Piped Natural Gas (PNG) in Delhi will be conducted by 66 teams to ensure compliance with authorized and non-polluting fuels.

Green War Room: A Green War Room for round-the-clock monitoring has been established to analyze daily actions taken by all agencies.

Green Delhi app: A Green Delhi app has been launched, encouraging residents to report pollution-related activities across Delhi.

Ban on firecrackers: Production, storage, sale, or purchase of firecrackers within Delhi will be prohibited.

Increasing green cover: Over 1 crore new saplings will be planted to increase Delhi’s green cover, with the Delhi government planting 52 lakh saplings.

Graded Response Action Plan: A Graded Response Action Plan will be implemented in Delhi with strict enforcement based on advance pollution forecasts.

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