‘Odd-Even Debatable, But Pollution Hasn’t Gone Up’: Satyendar Jain

From air pollution to reports on the National Capital’s water quality, The Quint spoke to Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain on an array of issues.

Supreme Court says Odd-Even may not be effective. What’s your take?

There can be a debate on how effective the Odd-Even scheme is, but air pollution has obviously come down. No one can say it has increased. If vehicular emissions account for 20-30 percent of Delhi’s air pollution, then pollution as a whole would definitely have come down by 10 percent. There can be an argument on the change in terms of percentage, but it cannot be said that pollution hasn’t come down at all. If there’s a fire and someone throws in a bucket of water, then the person has at least made an effort to douse the flame.

Do you think a coordinated effort to fight air pollution is missing?

Yes. The Supreme Court had ordered incentives for farmers so that they could dispose of the stubble. If the matter is dealt with seriously, then this problem can be solved.

What is your view on the water quality report?

The central government had previously collected water samples from Delhi and approved of its quality. Delhi’s water comes from the Yamuna. Out of 11 samples, if some were collected from residences of politicians and others were false ones which were not collected at all, then this is an attempt to malign us. Also, 11 is too small a sample size. If at anytime, 10 houses in the city do not have electricity at home, can we generalise this to the entire city?

We have given 1.5 lakh samples, out of which some have come back with quality concerns. We are working on it.

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