‘Will take lesser time than Beijing to improve air quality’

PTI New Delhi | Updated on November 22, 2019

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar   -  PTI

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday exuded confidence that the country will take less time than the 15 years taken by Beijing to improve air quality in the national capital.

Responding to a discussion on “air pollution and climate change”, the minister said a mass movement is needed to tackle the problem. “It took Beijing 15 years (to fight air pollution). We will take lesser time,” he said, referring to the air quality in Delhi.

Climate change aspect

There is a relation between pollution and climate change, the Environment Minister said, adding that 40 per cent of India’s total power capacity will come from renewable sources before 2030.

Noting that India’s green cover is increasing, the minister said five times more trees have been planted in the national capital in place of trees cut down for construction of the Delhi Metro.

Observing that pollution in Delhi was the topic of discussion in the entire country, he said the “solution of the problem will come only when we recognise the problem.”

The air quality in Delhi was in the ‘very poor’ category on Friday, improving slightly from the ‘severe’ level a day ago. The overall air quality index (AQI) was 364 at 9.30 am.

On measures being taken to control pollution, he said round-the-clock monitoring was taking place. He also said that a ban has been put on use of furnace oil and emission norms have been enhanced.

Task force

The government has formed a task force on Delhi’s toxic smog and everyday the monitoring was being done by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The more trees planted, the more it will help in reducing pollution, he said. “If each one of us pledge to plant seven trees an oxygen bank will automatically be created,” he said.

Earlier participating in a debate on pollution, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said there has to be a concerted effort to deal with this problem.

“We need a climate-smart economy...You should introduce climate literacy,” he said.

Jagdambika Pal (BJP) said pollution is not only life threatening but also affecting GDP growth.

Published on November 22, 2019

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