Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate change Shri Prakash Javadekar yesterday interacted live on his Facebook, speaking on the issue of air pollution and the steps being taken by the Central government to combat it. People interacted with the Union Minister sending questions and suggestions with the Hashtag #AskPrakashJavadekar.
Shri Javadekar stated during the interaction that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had announced that a holistic approach towards reduction of Air Pollution is being implemented across the country and the Ministry of Environment through the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is implementing the same across 122 cities in the country. NCAP targets to achieve 20 to 30 % reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024 across the country.
The Union Minister said that the whole world is facing the issue of air pollution. Talking on the factors of Air pollution Shri Javadekar said that in India, the primary reasons for air pollution are vehicular emissions, industrial emissions, dust from construction and demolition sites, biomass burning, poor waste management and stubble burning. Pollution in northern India during winters gets exacerbated when these factors combine with geographical and meteorological factors.
The minister informed the Facebook audience various steps the Central government has implemented to combat air pollution effectively. The number of ‘Good’, air days has increased to 218 in 2020 against 106 in 2016, and number of poor quality air days decreased to 56 in 2020 against 156 in 2016 during January 01st to September 30th.
Terming introduction of BS VI compliant vehicle standard since April 2020 across the country as a revolutionary step towards reduction of vehicular pollution the Minister explained that BSVI helped reduce pollution caused by vehicles. BSVI fuel reduces the NOx emission by 70% in diesel cars, by 25% in petrol cars and reduces particulate matter(PM) in vehicles by 80%.
Operationalization of Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressway has eased congestion by diverting traffic from Delhi. Union Minister urged all to minimise use of personal vehicles, and use metro and other public modes of transport. He also urged people to switch to cleaner modes of transport.Shri Javadekar said that Metro expansion has helped a lot to reduce congestion and pollution. Metro expanded with more stations and coaches avoiding pollution from 5 lakh vehicles.
The minister highlighted the steps to reduce industrial emissions which include closure of Badarpur and Sonipat Thermal Power Plants, conversion to zig zag technologies in Brick Kilns, 2800 industries switching to PNG fuel and ban on petcoke and furnace oil.
Union Minister informed the netizens about CPCB’s SAMEER App by appealing to everyone to download the app, which gives complete information about the polluted areas in various cities across the country. It identifies areas having heavy pollution with a red mark.