Air quality of Delhi saw an improvement during the first half of this year as compared to the same period last year, according to Environment and Forests Minister Harsh Vardhan. The Air Quality Index data of Delhi for the period of January-June for 2016 and 2017 shows that there were no days with severe level of air pollution in 2017, whereas there were nine such days during the preceding year, Vardhan told the Rajya Sabha today. “Moderate days have gone up from 29 days in 2016 to 56 days in 2017. Very poor days have reduced from 52 in 2016 to 36 during 2017,” he said replying to questions.
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Responding to concerns raised by members over pollution, the minister said the government was working towards creating a voluntary movement to tackle the problem. “We are preparing a list of good deeds that people can take up to curb pollution,” he said. He said the effort of any person doing at least one good task that helps in curbing pollution would be encouraged. The minister said people cannot be forced to take to cycling or any other practice but healthy activities can be encouraged. The government will try to create a movement, he said. He said efforts of the country in fighting pollution and climate change have been appreciated globally. He also spoke in detail about the efforts of various ministries including promotion of electric vehicles, improving petrol, gasoline quality etc. on the pollution front.