Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has unveiled a comprehensive 15-point winter action plan aimed at addressing air pollution in the national capital, just in time for the festive season. This initiative is a response to the pressing need for cleaner air in Delhi, which has seen some improvements in air quality metrics, including reductions in PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels.
Improvements in Air Quality Metrics
- Kejriwal highlighted the decrease in PM 2.5 levels from 149 in 2014 to 103 presently, showcasing a significant improvement.
- PM 10 levels have also reduced from 324 in 2014 to 223, signifying a 30% reduction in pollution levels.
Enhancing Public Transport
- Kejriwal emphasized the importance of public transport improvements.
- The Delhi government plans to introduce 800 electric buses to bolster the existing fleet of 7,000 government-operated buses.
Greenery and Tree Transportation
- The Chief Minister mentioned a remarkable 23% growth in the number of trees in Delhi, making it the city with the highest green cover in India.
- Plans for tree transportation were also discussed.
Clean Energy and Power Supply
- Delhi currently has no thermal power plants, leading to uninterrupted 24-hour power supply and reduced reliance on generators, resulting in reduced pollution.
Identifying Pollution Hot Spots
- Kejriwal announced the identification of 13 pollution hot spots in the city.
- A dedicated war room and 13 specialized teams have been established to tackle pollution in these areas.
Reducing Stubble Burning
- The development of a bio decomposer by PUSA was mentioned as a measure to reduce stubble burning.
- In 2022, the bio decomposer was used across 44,00 acres, and this year it will be implemented on 5,000 acres.
- A web portal registration requirement has been introduced for any construction exceeding 500 square meters.
- Anti-smog guns are mandated for areas exceeding this size to maintain dust-free roads.
Mechanical Road Sweeping and Water Sprinkling
- 82 mechanical road sweeping machines and 530 water sprinkling machines will be deployed to ensure dust-free roads.
- During the winter season, 298 smog guns will be in operation on Delhi’s roads.
Vehicle-Related Pollution Measures
- Measures to curb vehicle-related pollution include inspections of Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates.
- Vehicles, particularly petrol ones older than 15 years and diesel vehicles older than 10 years, will be checked for compliance.
- To oversee these efforts, 385 teams have been organized.
Prohibition of Firecrackers
- Kejriwal reiterated the prohibition of firecrackers to reduce air pollution during the festive season.
- Plans to enhance the city’s greenery involve planting a total of 1 crore trees, with 52 lakh of them planted directly by the Delhi government.