Delhi’s Air Pollution Levels Came Down By 25% In Past 4 Yrs, Says CM Arvind Kejriwal, Announces 7 Point Plan
The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently said that air pollution levels in the city have come down by 25 per cent in the past four years, referring to a report by Central Pollution Control Board. The news comes in as a big relief for the Delhi government as it faced constant criticism after the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) report in 2014 on air quality ranked New Delhi as the most polluted city in the world.
The Delhi CM in a tweet also announced a seven-point action plan to tackle air pollution.
Today we have announced a 7-point Parali Pradushan Action Plan that involves
1. Odd Even
2. Pollution Masks
3. Community Diwali Laser Show
4. Environment Marshals
5. Hotspot Control
6. Dust Control
7. Tree Challenge
This is a comprehensive plan to prepare ourselves for smog.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 13, 2019
Since 2014, Delhi government along with Central Pollution Control Board, and Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority carried awareness drives, issued orders and implemented orders passed by NGT, and implemented the odd-even scheme to curb air pollution.
Later on, the government created a rapid response action plan in 2017. Graded Rapid Action Plan (GRAP) which took timely actions when bad environmental condition sustained for more than 48 hours. Construction around the city was stopped, heavy trucks were bypassed at eastern and western sides, ban on PET Coke as an industrial fuel, awareness against using firecrackers in marriages were some of the measure taken by the Delhi government. Apart from that people were encouraged to use public transport such as metro and buses.
Air pollution poses a major risk for heart patients, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (an umbrella term for several progressive lung diseases including emphysema) and lung cancer, and increases the risks for acute respiratory infections and exacerbates asthma. As per WHO data around 7 million people across the globe died due to air pollution-related diseases in 2012 accounting for 11.6% of the total deaths. According to the World health statistics, 2016 air pollution was deemed as the single largest environmental health risk. Almost every Metro city in India is dealing with high levels of air pollution. Several Indian cities were placed in the top 20 list of world’s most polluted cities. The increasing number of fossil-fueled vehicles has resulted in high emission levels. Hence many vehicles are moving towards CNG engines or electric vehicles. The government too has talked about electrification by 2030 and a shift to BS-VI emission norms from BS-IV. In such a scenario the news has brought some relief not only for the governmnt but alos for the people of Delhi.