Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh on Thursday criticised the Delhi Government for its failure to treat the sewage that has been flowing into the Yamuna and polluting the river.

Speaking at a function organised by the Delhi Government to launch “Climate Change Agenda for Delhi 2009-2012”, the Minister said while the generation of industrial waste in the Capital city has come down, the generation of household waste had gone up sharply. Worse still, he said, most of this waste flows untreated into the Yamuna due to the low capacity utilisation of the effluent treatment plants. “The Government needs to seriously look in this direction,’’ he said.

Mr. Ramesh said India, being the most vulnerable country to climate change, should play a leading role in adapting to it and mitigating its adverse impact. He said India was vulnerable to climate change from four dimensions – arrival and extent of the monsoon, Himalayan glaciers, the long coast line around the peninsular part of the country and concentration of natural resources in forest areas in central part of the country.

The Union Minister said India should act of its own volition. “We have to be very proactive and show others how to adapt and mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.”

Mr. Ramesh also had some words of appreciation for Delhi. He said the State Government had come out with its climate change agenda for Delhi 2009-2012 at an appropriate time and had become the first State to do so. He lauded the fact that the agenda has been prepared in line with the Prime Minister’s National Action Plan for climate change keeping eight core missions in focus.

The Union Minister, who also released the monograph of Delhi Government, said the implementation of this agenda would bring visible and tangible difference on the ground. He urged the Delhi Government to set up a Special Task Force for implementation of an action plan and to deploy a team of totally dedicated and energetic officers in this work. He also appreciated the creation of urban forests by the Delhi Government.

Ms. Dikshit said the monograph highlights the action already taken by the Government to achieve the identified objectives and also outlines the further measures that need to be undertaken in the coming years. Further the frame work for implementation of a series of action by various stakeholders has been identified and chalked out in detail.

The Chief Minister commended the role of Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta in preparing this useful document wherein 65 important climate change agenda points have been identified for Delhi to be implemented by the various departments of the Delhi Government by 2012. The action plan points have been classified in sectors like enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitat, green India, water mission, strategic knowledge and solar mission.

Ms. Dikshit said the Delhi Government was taking steps to make the city green by involving the community.

For his part, Mr. Mehta said the fuel for public transport vehicles has been switched to eco-friendly CNG to curb green house gas emissions but a lot still needs to be done as people continue to prefer private conveyance over public transport.

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