Delhi CM Kejriwal Unveils Winter Action Plan, Says Stubble Burning Reduced 30%, 'Identified 13 Hotspots...'


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday unveiled the Aam Aadmi Party-led government’s “Winter Action Plan” to curb pollution in the national capital. The Chief Minister said his government’s efforts in the last eight years have borne fruit due to which the number of days witnessing severe pollution levels have declined.

“The number of days witnessing severe pollution levels declined in the last eight years due to several initiatives of the government, such as the introduction of electric buses and the EV Policy, among others,” he said at a press conference.

Kejriwal said the government has identified 13 pollution hotspots across Delhi. He said the inventorisation of major air pollution sources from these hotspots has been completed for focused preventive actions.

“It was advised to deploy Nodal Officers specifically to address air pollution from hotspots,” he said.

To combat pollution, the Chief Minister also instructed the officials to strictly follow the guidelines and ensure the implementation of the government’s 15-point plan.

Addressing the problem of stubble burning, Kejriwal said the Pusa bio-decomposer that prevents stubble burning will be sprayed on 5,000 hectares of farmland this year against 4,400 hectares last year.

The Pusa biodecomposer, developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Delhi, is a microbial solution that can turn paddy straw into manure in 15-20 days.

Further, citing data from last year, the Chief Minister said that there has been a 30 per cent reduction in stubble burning in areas around Delhi.

“In Punjab, we formed our Government in March last year. The data from last year shows the steps taken in 6-7 months led to a 30 per cent reduction in stubble burning. This year Bhagwant Mann has taken several steps. One of which is the diversification of crops – instead of paddy grow other crops. This will save water and lower stubble burning. It has yielded good results,” he said.

“Secondly, the varieties of paddy – the short-term varieties have. This has less stubble and it need not be burnt. Ex-situ management of stubble – for this a few companies have adopted districts and will carry their stubble to convert it into manure or electricity…I think there should be improvement this year,” Kejriwal added.

The government will deploy 530 water sprinklers to prevent dust pollution and 385 teams will check vehicles’ pollution certificates and prevent the plying of overage cars.

In 2018, the Supreme Court banned diesel and petrol vehicles older than 10 and 15 years, respectively, in Delhi. It had added that the vehicles plying in violation of the order would be impounded. A 2014 order of the National Green Tribunal bars vehicles older than 15 years to be parked in public places.

Kejriwal said burning garbage in the open is banned in Delhi and 611 teams will monitor its implementation.

He also urged people to download the Green Delhi mobile application and report any pollution-causing activity to the government.

(With inputs from agencies)


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