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Delhi’s air has improved over 3 years: Prakash Javadeka

Both Houses held a debate on growing air pollution in the country, particularly in Delhi. Replying to the debate, Javadekar said: “There is a general improvement in Delhi’s air quality over the past three years. There were 106 good and satisfactor...

Updated: Nov 22, 2019, 08.16 AM IST
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Prakash Javadekar
"As per continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations data, there is general improvement in air quality of Delhi in 2018 from 2017," Javadekar said.
NEW DELHI: Environment minister Prakash Javadekar has said that pollution levels have come down in Delhi and efforts are being made to reduce it further. However, the apathy among MPs on the issue was visible in the Rajya Sabha, which saw thin attendance during the debate.

Both Houses held a debate on growing air pollution in the country, particularly in Delhi. Replying to the debate, Javadekar said: “There is a general improvement in Delhi’s air quality over the past three years (since 2016). There were 106 good and satisfactory days in 2016, 152 in 2017, 159 in 2018. This year, out of 324 days, 190 have been good and satisfactory.”

Javadekar said the government has allocated Rs 10 crore each to 28 cities with over one million population, Rs 10 lakh each to cities with population less than Rs 5 lakh and Rs 20 lakh each to cities with population of 5-10 lakh to deal with the issue.

Javadekar informed the House about the steps being taken to control pollution, including shutting down of polluting thermal power stations and industries, tree plantation, management of construction and demolition waste.

In Delhi, BS-VI compliant fuel is being used and from April 2020 BS-VI compliant vehicles will be sold. This will reduce pollution by 80%. Use of ethanol is being promoted. Rs 172 crore has been released to respective State Pollution Control Boards.

In Delhi, 500 new CNG stations have come up, there are now 274 networks of metro stations and 5 million passengers commute on metro trains daily. Subsidies are being given for electric vehicles and 300 more CNG buses have been sanctioned for Delhi.

On crop residue management, Javadekar said Rs 1,151 crore was sanctioned and over 56,290 machines were given to farmers in UP, Punjab and Haryana. 46,000 new machines will be handed over soon. There has been a fall of 19% in crop residue burning this year compared to 2018. “Pollution due to stubble burning has reduced to 46% from 51%. There was 36% reduction in UP, 25% in Haryana and 16% in Punjab,” Javadekar said.

Congress leader Kumari Selja said everybody just blames farmers for air pollution. AAP MP Sanjay Singh said Delhi was no longer among the most polluted cities in India yet a lot of blame is being pinned on it. BJP MP Vijay Goel contradicted Javadekar when he said pollution has increased in Delhi, leading opposition members to slam him.

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