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World Environment Day: Delhi awaits an extensive plan to combat pollution

NEW DELHI: On the World Environment Day, Delhi still looks forward to its own extensive plan which can control the pollution and can be active throughout the year. While the Delhi government officials said that the work on the environment will step up, the experts said that the National Clean Air Action Plan should be implemented in Delhi on priority.

"Enthusiastic efforts to seek pollution ka solution, Delhi government has deployed Environment marshalls in all 272 municipal wards as well as in the Municipal Councils," tweeted Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain. Delhi government in the last few years also worked in the transport sector which could help to reduce pollution of the city.

The Delhi government on Monday said the city will get about 3,000 buses within next one year, with about 30 buses rolling out by June-end. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the buses will have CCTV cameras. "The new buses will start rolling out soon. About 25-30 buses will be on road by month-end," he said.

However, the green bodies and experts found a lack of proper action plan to combat air pollution of Delhi. Right now Delhi has Graded Response Action Plan which is an emergency action plan by the Centre to combat the pollution but there is not any extensive action plan which could work throughout the year.

"Right now we have GRAP which is an action plan with various categories and it is also an emergency action plan. The authorities must take the directions from GRAP and make a concrete extensive plan for Delhi which will have sector-specific actions and also a timeline. The people should know the target of the authorities and the government should have a goal. Right now we hear about many steps but we do not know how they are implementing those steps, therefore, clarity is needed," said Sunil Dahiya, a senior pollution campaigner.

A report released by environment think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on World Environment Day 2019 showed that a large number of Indian cities need to reduce PM10 levels by over 50 per cent to meet World Health Organization (WHO) prescribed levels of 20 ug/m3 (microgramme per cubic metre).

The report shows that while Ghaziabad will have to reduce its particulate pollution by 77 per cent, Delhi will have to do the same by 76 per cent. Other cities like Varanasi, Kanpur, Dhanbad, and Lucknow have 71-72 per cent more concentration of PM10 than the WHO prescribed levels.

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