The government has taken a number of steps to address the issue of air pollution in Delhi, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Friday, and took a jibe at the AAP dispensation for taking credit for the work done by the Centre.
Responding to a question on pollution in the national capital during the Question Hour in Lok Sabha, Javadekar said air pollution in Delhi is the “most serious problem”, and noted that the air quality along the Indo-Gangetic belt is poor.
“The Centre has taken a number of steps to address the problem of Delhi’s air pollution,” he said.
To address the issue of pollution in 100 cities, a National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was also launched and a plan has been made for every city, Javadekar said.
Listing out the measures, he said the Badarpur power plant has been shut down. and the Centre has also constructed the Eastern and Western Express Peripheral Ways which were pending for the last 10 years. Nearly 50,000 trucks which would pass through Delhi and add to the pollution do not come to the national capital now, he said.
By investing Rs 60,000 crore, less polluting fuel BS6 technology vehicles have been introduced, besides having electric two, three and four wheelers which are bringing down the pollution levels, he said.
“Which is why the pollution level in Delhi is less than earlier years, states a new report,” Javadekar said.
A recent report by Swiss organisation, IQAir, in the form of the ‘World Air Quality Report, 2020’ states that 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities are in India, with Delhi being ranked the most polluted capital city globally.
The report, however, shows that Delhi’s air quality improved by approximately 15 per cent from 2019 to 2020.
Without naming Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Javadekar said, “There are some people in Delhi, who have no contribution towards it, (bringing down pollution levels) are running for credit and giving advertisements in newspapers that pollution has come down by 15 per cent.”
He said the Centre got Piped Natural Gas (PNG) for 3,000 industries in Delhi. It also transformed 3,000 brick kilns using zig-zag technology to bring down pollution levels, he added.