During a recent meeting between the Delhi government and the Central authorities, Delhi urged the Union Environment Ministry to enforce a total ban on firecracker burning and diesel bus movement in the National Capital Region.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai disclosed that Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav held discussions with environment ministers from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
In the meeting, Delhi proposed various measures to combat pollution across the entire NCR region. Earlier, Rai had requested a collaborative action plan among all NCR states to tackle winter pollution.
He emphasised that Delhi’s efforts to curb air pollution won’t be effective unless neighboring states address pollution sources in the NCR region.
According to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), 69% of Delhi’s pollution originates from NCR states.
Rai said the need for a complete ban on firecrackers and stubble burning, allowing only CNG and electric vehicles. Industrial units using polluting fuels should switch to natural gas, and brick kilns should adopt pollution mitigation technologies.
Rai also stressed the importance of providing electricity to housing societies, reducing reliance on diesel generators, and redirecting non-destined vehicles from expressways.
Additionally, the Delhi government organised a run to raise awareness about air pollution, promoting actions such as using public transport and turning off vehicle engines at red lights.
The government plans to relaunch campaigns like ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ and ‘Patakhe Nahi Diye Jalao’ to combat vehicular pollution and discourage firecracker burning.
Delhi had recently imposed a ban on firecrackers and introduced a 15-point action plan to address dust pollution, vehicular emissions, and open burning of garbage.
Specific plans for 13 air pollution hotspots in Delhi have been developed based on real-time air quality data from monitoring stations. Ongoing campaigns target dust pollution and industrial emissions. (With inputs from PTI)