Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a 15-point Winter Action Plan on Friday to curb air pollution in the national capital, reported PTI.
The Aam Aadmi Party leader said that his government will collaborate with the Centre and the neighbouring states to reduce air pollution as winter approaches.
Delhi suffers from smog, poor visibility and a drop in air quality during winters as lower temperatures, wind speeds, industrial pollution, and burning of paddy harvest in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The air quality drops around Diwali when firecrackers burst. To curb this situation, the Delhi government has banned the production, storage, sale and use of firecrackers in the capital till January 1, 2023.
Kejriwal said on Friday that the Delhi government will install 233 anti-smog guns and 150 mobile units of the device to curb pollution. “As many as 586 teams have been formed to keep an eye on construction sites in the city and implement the anti-dust plan for the winter,” said Kejriwal. “We have also formed 380 teams for strict adherence to Pollution Under Control certificates and ensure that diesel vehicles older than ten years and petrol vehicles older than 15 years don’t operate.”
Citing a report by the National Clean Air Programme, the AAP leader added that the concentration of major air pollutants like PM10 has reduced in Delhi by 18.6% in the last four years. Kejriwal also mentioned that the shutting down of two thermal power plants in the state has reduced air pollution in the city.
New Delhi emerged as the world’s most polluted capital city for the fourth consecutive year in 2021, according to a report released this year by Swiss organisation IQAir. The report studied 6,475 cities in 117 countries, the levels of PM2.5 pollutants – tiny particles with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres, which can enter the lungs and the bloodstream.
“We will work with the states of the National Capital Region, the Commission for Air Quality Management and the Union government to reduce air pollution,” Kejriwal said on Friday. He also requested neighbouring states to ensure that vehicles entering Delhi are running on Compressed Natural Gas or are electric vehicles.
“Neighbouring states should also ensure that industries don’t run on polluting fuel and switch to piped natural gas,” the AAP leader said. “Brick kilns also lead to pollution. I would also like to request them…to reduce pollution from brick kilns, zigzag technology should be used. There should be a 24-hour supply of electricity in the National Capital Region so that people don’t have to use diesel generator sets.”
Kejriwal said the government will provide bio-decomposer spray prepared by the Pusa Institute Of Technology to all the farmers who burn their fields. The bio-decomposer makes the stubble soft which makes it easier for the farmers to remove the residue from the fields instead of burning them.