Kejriwal unveils 15-point winter action plan to combat Delhi air pollution

At the plan's unveiling, the Delhi CM mentioned that there has been a slight improvement in air quality in the national capital

File photo of heavy smog and haze in Delhi, caused by 'severe' air pollution (photo: Getty Images)
File photo of heavy smog and haze in Delhi, caused by 'severe' air pollution (photo: Getty Images)


Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday introduced a comprehensive 15-point winter action plan aimed at combating air pollution in preparation for the upcoming festive season.

During the plan's unveiling at a press conference in the nation's capital, Kejriwal mentioned that there has been a slight improvement in the city's air quality and highlighted specific air quality metrics, noting that the PM 2.5 levels have decreased from 149 in 2014 to 103 at present.

Furthermore, he pointed out that PM 10 levels have reduced from 324 in 2014 to 223, indicating a 30 per cent reduction in pollution levels.

As he unveiled the plan, the CM emphasised the significance of improvements in public transport, pointing out that over the past several years, no new buses were procured, which adversely affected public transportation.

He also announced the launch of 800 electric buses by the Delhi government, highlighting that there are now a total of 7,000 buses operated by the government in the national capital.

Additionally, Kejriwal discussed the increase in greenery in Delhi, stating that the city has witnessed a 23 per cent growth in the number of trees and boasts the highest green cover in India, and also mentioned plans for tree transportation.

On the absence of thermal power plants in Delhi at present, the CM said that in the past, Delhi faced prolonged power cuts, leading people to rely on generators, but now there is uninterrupted 24-hour power supply, resulting in reduced pollution.

In addressing pollution control, he mentioned the identification of 13 pollution hot spots and the establishment of a dedicated war room. To tackle pollution in these areas, 13 specialised teams have been formed.

Kejriwal also discussed efforts to reduce stubble burning, mentioning the development of a bio decomposer by PUSA. He said in 2022, this bio decomposer was used across 4,400 acres, which will increase to 5,000 acres this year to further reduce the practice of stubble burning.

The CM revealed that a total of 591 teams have been established for various purposes and explained that any construction exceeding 500 square metres must be registered on a web portal. Additionally, for areas exceeding this size, the installation of anti-smog guns has been mandated, he said.

In order to maintain dust-free roads, a total of 82 mechanical road sweeping machines and 530 water sprinkling machines will be deployed. And in winter, 298 smog guns will be in operation on Delhi's roads.

Addressing vehicle-related pollution, Kejriwal explained that measures would be taken, including the inspection of pollution under control (PUC) certificates and checking petrol vehicles over 15 years old and diesel vehicles over 10 years old for compliance. To oversee these efforts, 385 teams have been organised.

Kejriwal also reiterated the prohibition of firecrackers and outlined plans to enhance the city's greenery by planting a total of 1 crore trees, with 52 lakh of them being planted directly by the Delhi government.

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