Avoid using vehicles for at least one day a week: Kejriwal to Delhiites

Stubble being burnt in a field near Kundli in Delhi.  

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday appealed to citizens to avoid using their vehicles for at least one day a week and switch off their engines while waiting at traffic signals. These are among measures as part of the Delhi government’s campaigns against air pollution in the Capital.

Stubble burning had begun in neighbouring States, the Chief Minister told a digital briefing, as a result of which air pollution levels had spiked in the city.

“Pollution levels stay within the safe limits throughout but during this time of the year, they start to increase gradually. One can go and check my tweets in the last 3-4 days and observe how the pollution levels have been on the rise,” he said.

“The reason behind this is the fact that the governments of neighbouring States did not try at all to help their farmers manage stubble and they have been forced to burn it. It is very evident in NASA’s satellite images. Thanks to all of this, Delhi will have to again bear incessant pollution in winter,” the CM said.

Because of the active participation of Delhiites in the government’s campaigns in the past, both PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels had reduced by 25%. However, he added, the fight had not ended there.

After having put forward a 10-point winter action plan that detailed how the Delhi government would work to curb pollution, Mr. Kejriwal sought public support to check pollution this winter.

“Today I am here to seek the support of the people of Delhi once again. We all need to take responsibility and work towards reducing pollution at our own levels, in our own capacity. I want to urge all the people to contribute to three major campaigns,” he said.

“Firstly, last year, we launched a campaign called ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ whose results were much appreciated. People just need to turn the car engine off at the red light, and turn it on when the light becomes green. This will reduce pollution and save fuel,” he said.

This campaign, Mr. Kejriwal said, would formally begin on October 18. The Petroleum Conservation Research Association, according to the Chief Minister, had presented data positing that switching off engines at the red light saves around ₹250 crore annually and reduces pollution by 13%-20%.

Secondly, he said, everyone could try to use public transport or carpool and avoid using vehicles at least once a week. Experts had said that doing so more than once a week or at least once would help bring down the levels of pollution and help save fuel too.

“Third, we developed the Green Delhi app last year that has resolved around 23,000 complaints so far. We all have to submit a complaint of any kind of pollution, be it industrial, vehicular, or garbage burning. Our team will act on it and reach the location to deal with the complaint,” the CM said.

“If we start to follow these three solutions then we will be making great progress in our fight. Throughout the last few years, we have worked hard in fighting against pollution, and we will continue to do so with all the effort of the people of Delhi,” he added.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 2:12:06 PM |

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