New Delhi, October 5: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced a mega anti-pollution campaign "Yuddh Pradushan Ke Virudh" to reduce air pollution levels in Delhi, which will be a breather for Delhiites in the upcoming winter season. Various measures to combat pollution, such as the launching of the Green Delhi App, the creation of a war room to monitor steps, processing liquid solution for farm fields to prevent stubble burning, implementing hotspot-specific action plans to contain pollution, and subsidy on the adoption of EVs have also been announced under the campaign. Arvind Kejriwal to Launch ‘Green Delhi App’ to Combat Pollution.
CM Arvind Kejriwal also appealed to the states to take measures to tackle stubble burning in their states by providing alternatives to the farmers, and by addressing issues in thermal power plants and brick kiln plants that are major sources of pollution. Addressing a digital press conference, Kejriwal said, "The month of October has started, and we know that every year, the level of pollution rises in the months of October, November, and December in the national capital. One of the biggest reasons for this rise in pollution, is the burning of crop stubble in Delhi and the nearby areas, due to which the farmers and their families have to bear the maximum brunt of the pollution caused by stubble burning.
The people living in those villages and the farmers have to bear pollution. Whereas other states are doing whatever they can, we must do whatever we can to reduce the effects of Delhi's own sources of pollution. In the last five years, the people of Delhi have done commendable work, and with sheer hard work and efforts, they did not let the pollution increase in the capital. Due to the increasing traffic, industrial activities, and economic activities, pollution is rising in many cities across the world.
In Delhi, the pollution levels have actually decreased between 2014-2019, despite an increase in the economic and industrial activities in the city. The average PM2.5 in 2014 was 154, and PM2.5 in 2018-19 was 115. It is because of the efforts of all the people of Delhi, the pollution levels have come down by 25%. This year, the pollution may prove to be a health hazard for us due to Corona. In the last five years, we have taken many steps to ensure pollution-free Delhi. We have provided 24x7 electricity in Delhi, due to which we have eliminated the use of lakhs of generators sets in the city.
The central government constructed the Eastern and Western peripheral highway which has drastically reduced the traffic in Delhi. The Delhi Government has banned some of the dirtiest fuels from use in industry, and we shifted all the industries to the use of PNG. We imposed heavy fines on construction sites violating dust control norms. We conducted plantation drives and followed the directions of the Supreme Court regarding the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan.
But right now, we do not have to be satisfied, and we have to reduce the pollution further for our families and our children, especially during COVID times, since our lungs are the worst affected during Corona and pollution can worsen the situation further. We are declaring a war against pollution from today by launching an anti-pollution campaign, "Yuddh - Pollution Ke Viruddh". We need the support of you all in this, just like we have got your support in the last five years. Apart from what I am announcing today, we will keep on adding new activities in the coming days."
Earlier today, CM Arvind Kejriwal also convened a meeting with various departments, who have all joined hands in this war against pollution announced by the CM, including the three MCDs, PWD, Delhi government, DPCC, Pollution Control Board, transport department, etc. Unveiling the components of the anti-pollution campaign this year, Arvind Kejriwal said, "First and foremost, we suffer from the problem of pollution due to crop stubble burning every year. Every state government and the central government is trying its best to devise a solution for this.
This year, the Pusa Agricultural Research Institute has devised a very cheap and simple solution. They have formulated a fermented liquid solution which is to be sprayed on the fields to soften the stubble and prevent its burning. This year, the Delhi government will spray the solution on the basmati rice farm fields itself. If this technique is successful in Delhi, we can tell the other states to implement the same to prevent stubble burning. The Delhi government is preparing the mixture in Delhi on a large scale, and the process will start tomorrow under the guidance of the Pusa Research Institute."
"We are also launching an intensive anti-dust drive from today, under which various action plans will be implemented. Our inspection teams will visit the construction sites across Delhi and impose heavy fines or challans if they are found not following the anti-pollution measures in construction sites. Mechanical sweepers will be intensively used by MCDs across Delhi to ensure no pollution due to road dust. I have also instructed agencies to repair the potholes which are also one of the main sources of pollution. Anti-smog guns have also been installed across Delhi to reduce the impact of pollution," added the CM.
CM Arvind Kejriwal said that there are 13 points in Delhi where the impact of pollution is the maximum, those areas and the colonies in those areas have been identified. The government has done detailed planning, for each of the hotspots to measure the reasons for increased pollution in a particular hotspot. Measures to contain the pollution will then be implemented.
"We will also be launching the Green Delhi App this month. If you witness a source of pollution, including vehicular and industrial emissions, click a photo of it and post it on the app. We have specified a deadline for each type of complaint. I will personally monitor the grievance redressal. We are also creating a war room against pollution for monitoring of various measures that are implemented and have to be implemented in the coming days. I will get the daily report of the frequency, impact and success of these activities. We are also drafting the tree transplantation policy. For instance, if an agency cuts the tree for construction purposes, they have to ensure scientific transplantation of a minimum of 80% of affected trees, over and above compensatory afforestation of planting of 10 saplings," added the CM.
CM Arvind Kejriwal said that the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy has been hailed as one of the most progressive policies in the world. It will soon be implemented and people will start getting subsidies on the adoption of EVs. "I want to appeal to the neighbouring states, the measures would not have any impact till the time we come together to act against pollution. I have spoken to many farmers in Punjab, they are very troubled due to pollution. But they do not have a choice and need support from the governments. I want to appeal to the neighbouring states that just like the Delhi government has devised an alternative, every state government should do the same and help the farmers to deal with the stubble opportunistically and not a problem.
The stubble can be a source of income for the problems. Further, there are 11 thermal plants currently in a radius of 300 km from Delhi, that generate electricity from coal. They cause maximum pollution in Delhi, whereas Delhi has shut down its own two plants. Delhi has no thermal power plant. The Supreme Court had directed these plants to address the problem of pollution by December 2019, which hasn't been implemented as of now. There are also thousands of brick kiln plants near Delhi that cause pollution. My request is that the problem of pollution in these plants should be addressed as soon as possible," added CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal.