Permanent solution for pollution in Delhi


New Delhi: Keeping in mind the rising pollution level in Delhi, Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said in an interview that Delhi’s experiment with odd -even was a “short-term solution” but the union government is taking steps which would result in a permanent solution.

Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said the government would notify new construction and demolition rules.

Also, bypass for trucks has been ordered to be built and Euro VI emission norms would be brought in by 2020.

“Every initiative has its importance, but (odd-even plan) is a short-term solution. The steps we are taking offer a long-term solution to the problem,” Javadekar said in an interview.

A visit for journalists to the Paldev gram panchayat in Madhya Pradesh has been organized by the Ministry of Environment, where Javadekar has adopted six villages for setting up their social infrastructure.

Odd-even formula was introduced by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to control pollution level wherein odd numbered four wheelers were allowed to ply on odd dates and even numbered on even dates.

The formula was on a trial basis for 15 days, beginning on 1st January 2016.

Two-wheelers and CNG vehicles were exempt. Experts said that the impact on pollution was limited during this fortnight though there was a sharp drop in traffic congestion in the capital.

Javadekar argued that construction and demolition waste was one of the major contributors to the pollution levels in the National Capital Region. “For the first time in India, we are ready with construction and demolition rules which will be declared in the next 15 days,” Javadekar said.

With the construction of a bypass for thousands of non-Delhi bound trucks and other vehicles pollution level will reduce permanently, said, minister.

“The project was being discussed for the last 10 years but Modiji got the construction started and it will be ready in the next 18 months,” he said. “This will bring big relief to the citizens who will also have to contribute by maintaining their vehicles, sticking to their lanes, cycling to nearby places and using public transport as much as possible,” Javadekar said.

He also said the government’s target of having Euro VI emission norms by 2020, fours years in advance to the previous UPA government’s target of having it by 2024, was a “huge target” which his government was confident of achieving.

According to the statement, some 150,000 e-rickshaws would ply on the roads of the national capital in the next couple of years as the government had already passed the e-rickshaw bill. “This will change the whole scenario in Delhi.”

The minister was upbeat about the progress in the clean Ganga campaign and said the government was considering a policy whereby the contractors for the effluent treatment plants would be asked to maintain it as well.

Following the CoP21 climate change meeting in Paris last December, the minister said that by June this year discussions on how to achieve emission targets in the next five years in every state and district will be carried out.

“Currently, India’s contribution to the world emissions is only five percent, whereas China, Europe and the US together account for more than 60 percent of the emissions,” he said.

“Our emissions will grow because we are on a growth trajectory but it will grow on a sustainability basis,” he said.

He said his government’s focus was on water saving, energy saving and efficiency measures as well as on increasing forest cover and green initiatives.(IANS)