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Air pollution down in Delhi: Kejriwal

Air pollution down in Delhi: Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said his government has brought down air pollution in Delhi in the past three years and asked for public suggestions to improve the situation further.

Speaking to the media, he said air pollution in Delhi has reduced by 25 per cent in the last three years, as he presented data and findings of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) as well as Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

“The Delhi government invites suggestions from citizens to combat air pollution in the upcoming winter months. People can send their suggestions to cm4cleanair@gmail.com till September 12.”

Speaking about the seven reasons behind the reduction of pollution in Delhi, Kejriwal said the supply of 24-hour electricity is one of the major reasons. “It drastically reduced the use of diesel generators in the city.”

He said the construction of the Eastern and Western Peripheral Highways along with the heavy environmental compensation charges also prevented trucks entering Delhi in large numbers during the night.

“The third factor was containing the pollution due to dust in the construction sites in Delhi. The plantation drive in Delhi also contributed to reduce air pollution. As per the data of Forest Survey of India (FSI), the forest cover in Delhi has increased to 20.6 per cent in 2017 from 20.2 per cent in 2015,” Kejriwal said.

He said the Delhi government had closed two thermal power stations in Delhi and also the industries here were directed to shift to LNG/PNG.

“Lastly, the most important reason is the orders of the Supreme Court and effective implementation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and steps were taken depending on various categories of Air Quality like Severe, Very Poor, Poor, and Moderate etc.”

He said apart from the preventive measures, Delhi has also established the most extensive network of Continuous Air Quality Monitoring Stations (total 40) anywhere in India, and among the top three in Asia.

As per a recently released analysis by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) based on the data submitted by CPCB, Kejriwal said the number of severely polluted days a year has also reduced.

“During the earlier years of this decade 2011-14, the number of days with severe plus levels (more than 300 microgramme per cum) ranged between 20-40 days during the winter months. This has reduced during 2016-18 to less than 15 days.”

Apart from asking for public suggestions, Kejriwal said he met the Haryana Chief Minister as well as the Union Minister for Environment and got their assurance for positive steps to control pollution due to stubble burning in the nearby states.

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