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Delhi Govt Concerned over Rising Air Pollution Seeks Meeting of Environment Ministers of Neighbouring States

Delhi and Varanasi are among the 14 Indian cities that figured in a list of 20 most-polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5 levels in 2016, the WHO report showed on Wednesday.

PTI

Updated:May 2, 2018, 8:39 PM IST
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Delhi Govt Concerned over Rising Air Pollution Seeks Meeting of Environment Ministers of Neighbouring States
Representative image. (Reuters)
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New Delhi: After a WHO report listed Delhi among the 14 most-polluted cities in India, the AAP government on Wednesday sought a meeting of environment ministers of NCR states to find a solution to the chronic problem that has major health implications.

In a letter to Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain said the fight against the increasing level of pollution can be ensured by active involvement of states surrounding the national capital.

"Collectively as a team, the environment ministers of various states under your guidance have been making efforts to curb air pollution, but it is clear from the latest global data that we need an urgent and concrete nationwide plan to effectively counter this growing threat, which poses major health challenge to the people of our country," Hussain said.

Delhi and Varanasi are among the 14 Indian cities that figured in a list of 20 most-polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5 levels in 2016, the WHO report showed on Wednesday.

Due to multitude of agencies such as Delhi Development Authority, three municipal corporations, Delhi Cantonment Board and Public Works Department involved in pollution control, environmental problems remain "unresolved" and aggravate air pollution in Delhi, Hussain said in the letter.

He said since air pollution does not recognise geographical boundaries, Delhi experiences episodic instances of air pollution due to prevalence of dusty conditions during Apri-May and burning of crop residue during October-November in neighbouring states.

"Needless to say, such phenomena can be effectively controlled by the active involvement of the neighbouring states surrounding Delhi," he said, and requested Vardhan to convene a meeting of environment ministers of National Capital Region states and other stake-holders to find a solution.

In another letter, Hussain sought a meeting with Vardhan to discuss the issue of DDA allotting land to East Delhi Municipal Corporation to set up a municipal waste dump yard in Sonia Vihar area.

He said the selection of new site needs to be decided keeping in view local factors like population size residing in the neighbourhood, threats of water pollution due to leaching of toxic substances and threats of air pollution.

"The site(s) identified by DDA in Sonia Vihar for dumping of municipal solid waste can cause grave environmental problems... In view of this, your convenient time is sought for personal meeting to apprise the matter in entirety and to arrive at a visionary solution," Hussain added.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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