Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, who is currently in Bonn, Germany, to attend the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, has requested the State governments in the NCR of Delhi to take effective steps for mitigating the levels of air pollution and bring them to acceptable levels. He has also requested for the implementation of Graded Response Action Plan and other steps to improve the situation.
The Minister recalled that he had held meetings with the State governments and the Delhi government on the measures required to deal with the issue of air pollution, they have been agreed upon and reviewed. He also referred to the steps taken to involve people in management of air pollution through Clean Air Campaign this year. The steps required to tackle the situation has been identified and should be put into action to yield results. Cost-effective measures are needed as management of air pollution requires sustained action over a long period of time to be effective.
Referring to media reports that Central government has not supported the demand of the Delhi government for sprinkling of water through helicopter, he said that it had already responded to the request and asked the State Government to examine its cost-effectiveness vis-a-vis simpler measures like mechanised/vacuum sweeping of roads, blacktopping of dusty roads and road shoulders et al. “If the Government thought that sprinkling water through helicopter was the most cost effective measure, it was free to do so.”
He has requested the State Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to implement the ban related to stubble burning. He stated that the current high levels of the smog in some areas was the result of adverse meteorological conditions and hoped that the situation will improve in the near future.The Minister assured the people that the Central Government shall do everything possible to improve Delhi and NCR’s air quality