Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday appealed to the people of the city to actively participate in the fight against air pollution since the Centre and the neighbouring states were not cooperating in this regard.
He said the ‘Red Light on, Gaadi off’ campaign would begin in Delhi on 18 October and requested all to actively participate in it.
A Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) report states that turning off cars at red lights can save about Rs 250 crore and reduce pollution by 13-20 per cent. “We can all avoid using our personal vehicles at least once a week to save fuel and reduce pollution,” he suggested.
Kejriwal appealed to citizens to be more vigilant about pollution and report all such cases they come across on the Green Delhi app.
He informed that pollution was rising in Delhi because the neighbouring states did not cooperate. Farmers have been forced to burn stubble in their fields.
“For the last one month, I have been tweeting data about Delhi’s air pollution levels consistently. I am doing this to make people aware of the actual pollution levels in the city. We saw how Delhi’s pollution levels were within safe limits despite the presence of vehicular, industrial and all other sources of pollution throughout the year. But during this time of the year, it has started to increase gradually”, he pointed out.
The reason behind this rise is the fact that the governments of the neighbouring states did not at all try to help their farmers in managing the stubble problem. It is very evident in NASA’s satellite images that stubble burning has started in Delhi’s neighbourhood, Kejriwal said.
He stressed the need to step up Delhi’s own fight against pollution and said, “Ever since the Aam Aadmi Party has come to power in Delhi, we have been able to significantly reduce pollution in the city. This has been made possible because the people of Delhi have been actively cooperating with us to make Delhi a better place to live.
As a result, we have been able to reduce both PM 2.5 and PM 10 pollutant levels by 25 per cent.”
Kejriwal mentioned that last week he put forward a 10-point Winter Action Plan that detailed how the Delhi government would work to curb pollution. “Today I am here to seek the support of the people of Delhi once again. We all need to take responsibility and work together to reduce pollution at our own levels, in our own capacity. We all equally contribute to activities that make the pollution levels rise, and we only have to now work towards reducing it sincerely. We keep on appealing to the Central government and the neighbouring states to contribute to the cause, use the bio-decomposer and help farmers, but we don’t know if and when they will wake up and take up the cause”, he added.