Govt Fails to Combat Pollution. Delhi Becomes Poisonous Gas Chamber

Senior citizens in a group housing society of Dwarka urge the government to save them from dust and noise pollution of extended construction activity. Photo by Rakesh Raman
Senior citizens in a group housing society of Dwarka urge the government to save them from dust and noise pollution of extended construction activity. Photo by Rakesh Raman

While Delhi Government has completely failed to save people from lethal pollution in the city, the Indian government headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has decided to intervene.

Without accusing the Delhi Government (controlled by Lt. Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal), India’s Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan today expressed his concerns on increasing pollution levels.

He also showed his government’s helplessness in tackling the pollution menace now and hoped that pollution will be “tackled in a holistic manner next year.”

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Vardhan was holding a meeting with other officials on the issue of tackling air pollution in Delhi today. Kejriwal, who could not take any effective steps, said all sources that have been identified will be used to ensure that mitigation of air pollution is done effectively in Delhi. He added that the Delhi Government will work closely with all agencies in tackling pollution.

Today, Delhi has become a poisonous gas chamber, although the government is not clearly explaining the level of pollution severity. The air in Delhi has an annual average of 122 µg/m3 of PM 2.5 particles. That’s 12.2 times the WHO safe level. This is an extremely dangerous pollution level.

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But during the past couple of months, the average pollution level in Delhi has been around 500 µg/m3, which means the people of Delhi were virtually inhaling poison.

Now the government has decided to take some more steps particularly for dealing with dust pollution. It was stated that dust from major construction sites will be monitored closely and any violation will be dealt with strictly.

Similarly, fire from municipal solid waste dump sites will be tackled in an urgent manner. Innovative approaches, in consultation with Department of Science and Technology, will be adopted at the earliest to ensure that the issue of pollution is tackled.

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It was noted that the Task Force Committee headed by Principal Secretary to PM Modi is examining the issue of stubble burning. It was further noted that an action plan to address this issue will be ready in the next one month.

Moreover, Delhi Police is being asked to tackle the issue of traffic congestion and parking in Delhi while all steps will be taken to increase availability of public transport in the medium term.

The Pollution Control Boards will work in a proactive manner to ensure that violators are dealt with strictly. They will also ensure that awareness is created among the people. It was also decided that community activities to increase awareness and seek cooperation from the general public will be taken up in a big way.

[ दिल्ली के स्कूलों में बढ़ते अत्याचार के ख़िलाफ़ लोगों ने उठाई आवाज़, शुरू किया हस्ताक्षर अभियान ]

A special “Anti Pollution Drive” will be launched in the month of January, 2018 for 15 days, wherein there will be concerted action to tackle the issue of air pollution by all the agencies.

Today’s meeting was attended by Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal; Minister for PWD, Government of Delhi, Satendra Jain; Minister for Environment, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Dara Singh Chauhan; Environment Minister, Government of Haryana, Vipul Goyal; and Secretary, Environment, Government of Rajasthan; and Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Government of Punjab and senior officers from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.

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Rakesh Raman