Delhi's air pollution needs to be reduced by 65 percent to meet clean standards

Shutting down coal power plants and the creation of peripheral roads for trucks reduced Delhi's pollution.

Press Trust of India October 17, 2019 11:37:43 IST
Delhi's air pollution needs to be reduced by 65 percent to meet clean standards

Pollution in the national capital reduced by 25 percent in the last 10 years but to meet clean standards, it needs to be cut down by 65 percent more, an environment expert said on Wednesday.

Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy) at the think-tank Centre for Science and Environment, said a slew of measures such as shutting down coal power plants, shifting to BS-IV standards and creation of peripheral roads to avoid entry of polluting trucks in Delhi reduced pollution in the last decade.

Delhis air pollution needs to be reduced by 65 percent to meet clean standards

Representational image. PTI

"But the next question is, after 25 percent deduction what? Even after reducing pollution by 25 percent, Delhi has to reduce pollution by yet another 65 percent to meet the cleaner standards," she said at a discussion on problems of Delhi during an event titled 'Dilli ki Soch'.

"Pollution is down by 25 percent in over 10 years but how did it happen is important to understand. Since 2009-10, three coal/power plants have been shut which is equal to 1,245 GW of coal power generation. At the same time, BS-IV vehicles were scaled up, and there has been change in use of fuel in the city. The big action on diesel vehicular pollution has contributed immensely. Trucks and vehicles cannot enter Delhi as they have been diverted with creation of bypass roads," she said.

But there has been an increase in vehicle and industrial sector by 40 and 42 percent in the last 10 years, Chowdhury said.

"We need big clean energy and technology transition in industrial and vehicular sector," she said.

The discussion was also attended by Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari, who said the BJP government at the Centre has been making efforts to bring down pollution.

"Our government has also contributed to the reduction of 25 percent in pollution levels with construction of eastern peripheral road which stopped 15 lakh vehicles from entering the capital unnecessarily," he said.

Referring to stubble burning in neighbouring states which is causing pollution in the capital, Tiwari said it has stopped in Haryana in the last two years as the state government has commenced buying crop residue from farmers to generate power.

"Stubble burning remains a cause of concern but I would like to mention that the for the last two years, under the BJP leadership, Haryana government has been purchasing the crop residue/stubble from farmers and using it to generate electricity.

"This has helped in stopping stubble burning in Haryana and farmers are also happy. We have done this work and the chief minister deserves to be thanked," Tiwari said.

Delhis air pollution needs to be reduced by 65 percent to meet clean standards

Representational image. image credit: PTI

While discussing problems of garbage disposal and other sanitation issues raised by the United Residents Joint Action of Delhi (URJA), Tiwari alleged the Delhi government had blocked funds meant for MCDs.

"Garbage dumps are a big challenge in Delhi. Sadly, funds worth Rs 11,000 crore meant for MCDs have been blocked by the Delhi government. With the use of new technology from 21 October, we will segregate and recycle waste and finish the garbage dumps in the next two-three years," he said.

Tiwari also said he will raise the issue of giving constitutional recognition to the residents welfare associations with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

"We all want a better Delhi. Actions are now more important than words and discussions. I believe that RWAs should get constitutional right. I will talk to the law minister and write a letter to Arvind Kejriwal about this.

"RWAs are very important and I have learned that monthly meetings between mayors and RWAs is not happening. This has to be done. I am asking the mayors to ensure it is done," he said.

The meeting was also attended by URJA president Atul Goyal who raised the several issues faced by Delhi residents including pollution, garbage disposal, water quality, stubble burning, solid waste management, de-silting, fire safety and public land encroachments.

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