Union Environment and Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday claimed that the level of pollutants such as PM 2.5 and PM 10 have decreased by nearly 15% in Delhi in the last three years, PTI reported. PM 2.5 is fine particulate matter of a diameter of 2.5 micrometres in the air, while PM 10 is of 10 micrometres. These pollutants can fester deep in the lungs and bloodstream of humans.

Javadekar added that the number of days with good air quality was also on the rise.

The minister said air pollution in the national Capital had increased since 2007, but action to control it was taken only after 2014. “In the last three years, PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels have come down by 15% and 16%, respectively,” PTI quoted the minister as saying. “The ‘good’, ‘moderate’ and ‘satisfactory’ days of air quality too have gone up from 106 in 2016, 152 in 2017 and 159 in 2018.” He was speaking during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.

The environment minister listed out measures taken by the government to combat air pollution in Delhi, saying that reducing vehicular pollution was one of the most important goals while tackling the problem. Javadekar added that the government had built two peripheral roads in the last four years to ensure that heavy vehicles do not enter the national Capital.

Javadekar said that the Badarpur Power Plant was shut down and steps were taken to reduce stubble burning. He added that stubble burning cases in the states surrounding the Capital had also been reduced by 15% and that the government is working on further curbing these.

Efforts were being implemented to convert the stubble waste into energy and the central government was coordinating with five states to deal with the problem, Javadekar said.

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