Will take lesser time than Beijing to improve air quality:Javadekar

New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) Environment Minister PrakashJavadekar on Friday exuded confidence that the country willtake less time than the 15 years taken by Beijing to improveair quality in the national capital.

Responding to a discussion on 'air pollution and climatechange', the minister said a mass movement is needed to tacklethe problem.

'It took Beijing 15 years (to fight air pollution). Wewill take lesser time,' he said, referring to the air qualityin Delhi.

There is a relation between pollution and climate change,the Environment Minister said, adding that 40 per cent ofIndia's total power capacity will come from renewable sourcesbefore 2030.

Noting that India's green cover is increasing, theminister said five times more trees have been planted in thenational capital in place of trees cut down for constructionof the Delhi Metro.

Observing that pollution in Delhi was the topic ofdiscussion in the entire country, he said the 'solution of theproblem will come only when we recognise the problem.' The air quality in Delhi was in the 'very poor' categoryon Friday, improving slightly from the 'severe' level a dayago.The overall air quality index (AQI) was 364 at 9.30 am.

On measures being taken to control pollution, he saidround-the-clock monitoring was taking place.

He also said that a ban has been put on use of furnaceoil and emission norms have been enhanced.

The government has formed a task force on Delhi's toxicsmog and everyday the monitoring was being done by the PrimeMinister's Office.

The more trees planted, the more it will help in reducingpollution, he said.

'If each one of us pledge to plant seven trees an oxygenbank will automatically be created,' he said.

Earlier participating in a debate on pollution, Congressleader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said there has to be a concertedeffort to deal with this problem.

Both state and central government should work togetherto deal with the issue of pollution which has become a matterof concern.

'We need a climate-smart economy...You should introduceclimate literacy,' he said.

Choudhary charged that the Environment and ForestMinistry under the NDA government appears to be pro-businessrather than pro-conservation.

Climate change was never mentioned in the Budget in thelast couple of year, he said, adding, this shows theimportance being imparted by the government to this importantissue.

Jagdambika Pal (BJP) said pollution is not only lifethreatening but also affecting GDP growth. PTI SID DPDV DV