New Delhi: Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar today said that the Central Government has been taking all steps possible to combat air pollution in Delhi and North India and is working towards deploying all possible technological interventions towards that.
Speakingat the 4th Roundtable Consultation on ‘Clearing the Air – Driving central and state-level actions’ jointly hosted by TERI and Air Quality Asia, an international air quality advocacy group, the Environment Minister stated that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has put a firm resolve to improve the air quality of 100 cities in next 5 years. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change through its National Clean Air Programme, which is a city specific plan is working in that direction with a target to achieve 20 to 30 % reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024.
Speaking on the peculiar nature of Air Pollution in Northern India especially Delhi-NCR the minister said that the crisis of air pollution can be attributed to primary factors like industrial emissions, vehicular emissions, dust from construction and demolition sites, stubble burning for around 50-60 days in a year, biomass burning and poor legacy waste management.
Speaking on the role of meteorology and geography Shri Javadekar said that though Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai have similar population load and similar industrial and vehicular pollution levels, but Air quality index(AQI) in Delhi has shot up to over 300 in the last few days while in Chennai it is only 29, in Mumbai it is 140 and in Bangalore it is 45. The Minister said that this is due to the meteorological factors which we must appreciate and therefore when the wind speed and meteorology is unfavourable we must make more efforts to better air quality.
The Minister highlighted a host of initiatives including scientific and technological interventions taken by Central government to mitigate the menace of Air Pollution in last few years.