Air pollution between Delhi and NCR: Gopal Rai urges center to come up with joint plan

Delhi Minister Gopal Rai wrote to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Tuesday, urging him to immediately convene a meeting of NCR countries’ environment ministers and experts to draw up a joint plan to tackle air pollution.

Rai, the Environment Minister of Delhi, said the number of good and moderate air quality days in the city has increased and poor air quality days have decreased over the past four years due to the anti-air pollution measures taken by the Arvind Kejriwal government.

Citing a report by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), he said 31 percent of Delhi’s air pollution comes from local sources and the rest comes from outside.

“It is clear that all NCR states must work together to reduce air pollution in Delhi,” Rai said.

“I urged you on November 7th, November 11th and December 3rd to call a meeting of the NCR countries. I urge you once again to immediately convene a meeting of NNC environment ministers and experts to come up with a joint plan to reduce air pollution,” he said.

Yadav told the Lok Sabha on Monday that Arvind Kejriwal’s government was responsible for reducing pollution in the state capital.

He was responding to a question from Delhi-based BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh, who criticized the Aam Aadmi party government for its allegedly lax attitude towards solving Delhi’s environmental problem.

At a press conference on Monday, Rai said: “I have repeatedly asked the center to address the air pollution problem at a regional level. It’s not just our problem. We have taken steps to reduce pollution from local sources.

“We request that the center hold monthly joint review meetings with the states.”

The Delhi government announced on Monday that it will prepare a summer action plan to tackle pollution in the capital along the lines of a similar plan to be implemented in the winter.

Rai said the plan will focus on road dust, industrial pollution, open garbage incineration, landfill fires, increasing roadside green cover, rejuvenation of water bodies, parks, seedling plantations, monitoring of tree transplantation, gradual phasing out of single-use plastics, development of eco-waste park, urban forests, urban farming etc

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Jaclyn Diaz

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