Govt committed to fighting ‘serious problem’ of air pollution: Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar

New Delhi: The Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, said the Central Government has been taking all steps possible to combat air pollution in Delhi and North India and is working towards deploying all possible technological interventions towards that.

Speaking at the 4th Roundtable Consultation on ‘Clearing the Air – Driving central and state-level actions’ jointly hosted by TERI and Air Quality Asia, an international air quality advocacy group, on 7th December, the Environment Minister stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put a firm resolve to improve the air quality of 100 Indian cities in the next 5 years. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) stated in a press not that through its National Clean Air Program, which is a city-specific plan, is working in that direction with a target to achieve 20 to 30% reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024.

Speaking on the peculiar nature of air pollution in northern India, especially Delhi-NCR, Enviornment Minister Javadekar said the crisis of air pollution can be attributed to primary factors like industrial emissions, vehicular emissions, dust from construction and demolition sites, stubble burning for around 50-60 days in a year, biomass burning, and poor legacy waste management.

Speaking on the role of meteorology and geography,the Envrionment Minister said that though Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai have similar population load and similar industrial and vehicular pollution levels, the air quality index (AQI) in Delhi has shot up to over 300 in the last few days while in Chennai it is only 29, in Mumbai it is 140, and in Bangalore it is 45. The Minister said this is due to the meteorological factors which we must appreciate and therefore when the wind speed and meteorology is unfavourable we must make more efforts to better air quality.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also highlighted a host of initiatives including scientific and technological interventions taken by the Central Government to mitigate the menace of Air Pollution in the last few years, according to the press note.


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