Measures to curb pollution have been successful, says Gopal Rai

Minister promises action against civic body for fire at Ghazipur landfill

Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday said the measures taken by the Delhi government’ to curb pollution had been successful, according to two reports published by environmental organisations at both the national and international levels.

Mr. Rai made the remark while presenting two reports: one by iqair.com, a Sweden-based outfit, and an other by the Centre for Science and Environment.

The report by IQ Air stated that the Capital had dropped down to the 10th spot among the most polluted cities in the world. On the other hand, CSE said Delhi’s PM2.5 has decreased at the rate of 25% between 2018 and 2020.

The Minister said it was mentioned in the CSE’s report that Delhi was the first State in India to have shut down power plants, which emit harmful gases.

It is further stated that Delhi is the first State to have 39 Air Quality Monitoring Systems, he added.

“The report also stated that Delhi is the first State to have initiated 13 hotspots, which initiate measures at the micro-level to curb pollution right from dust particles to expansion of the green-belt; the first State to have provided PNG Gas at subsidised rates to its industrial sector,” he added.

“According to report IQ Air, among the world’s most polluted cities, Delhi has dropped down to the 10th position. Among the top 10 of this report are seven of Uttar Pradesh’s cities and States, including Lucknow, Kanpur, Noida, and Bulandshahr. The report also reveals that Delhi’s pollution has decreased by 15%,” he said.

He said Delhi launched the EV policy to help curb pollution. That the city provides 24×7 electricity to its citizens had also been a helpful measure in controlling pollution. Power cuts, he said, meant that the industries were operating with diesel-oriented generators which were extremely detrimental for pollution. With 24-hour electricity, this had been avoided extensively.

The government’s efforts in expanding its green belt have been successful, a report on which the government will be publishing very soon, Mr. Rai said, adding: “Delhi is the first State to have launched the Tree Transplantation Policy, which is inclusive of afforestation measures. Moreover, we have made a policy in which 80% of the plants will be transplanted.”

“Neighbouring States play a major role in curtailing pollution in Delhi. If Ghaziabad has a high pollution rate, Delhi will inevitably suffer. Hence, I request the Centre to analyze these two reports and make efforts,” he also said.

Mr. Rai on Tuesday also said strict action will be taken against the East Delhi Municipal Corporation for not taking steps to prevent fire at the Ghazipur landfill site. A section of the landfill had caught fire on Sunday, worsening pollution levels in the area, he said.

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