New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday blamed the erstwhile UPA government for not doing much to improve the national capital’s air quality, which started deteriorating in 2007.
“It’s not that the pollution has risen suddenly as Delhi’s air quality had been worsening since 2007. The previous government did little to improve things. But this was not discussed at that time,” Javadekar said.
The minister said it while listing achievements of the environment, forest and climate change ministry in last one year.
“I am not into blame game but scientists are saying this. If even the media had taken up this matter back then the situation would have not deteriorated. However, we have taken a lot of measures in the last one year,” he added.
“Construction of the crucial ring road bypass that will prevent unwanted traffic into Delhi has begun and within next two years, vehicles that are not destined for Delhi will not enter the city. Delhi Traffic Police too is working out ways to restrict the entry of overloaded trucks into the capital.”
Moreover, the minister said, pollution and dust from nearby states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab also contributed in a major way in Delhi’s poor air quality.
“The pollution from industries in Ghaziabad, dust from Rajasthan, they all contribute to Delhi’s air pollution,” Javadekar said.
“We have adopted a multi-stakeholder approach, and have including all neighbouring states to improve Delhi. A three-month action plan has been prepared to tackle the issue.”
According to a report by the World Health Organisation, air in Delhi is the most polluted in the world.
Even a study conducted in Delhi by the Central Pollution Control Board and Kolkata-based Chittaranjan National Cancer Research Centre found that every third child in Delhi had reduced lung function due to air pollution.
Talking about the steps taken by the government, Javadekar said a special campaign was launched in the national capital wherein civic agencies employees’ were educated about the harms of burning waste.
In order to control dust at under construction sites, Javadekar said norms in line with Delhi Metro will be introduced.