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Delhi Wants Joint Action Plan to Tackle 'Winter Pollution' with UP, Punjab, Haryana

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai is also set to meet his counterpart in the Centre. (Shutterstock)

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai is also set to meet his counterpart in the Centre. (Shutterstock)

Gopal Rai said that Delhi will start preparing a "winter action plan" next week and called upon Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to implement measures.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday sought the creation of a joint action plan by Delhi and its neighbouring states to combat high levels of air pollution in the winter season. Rai said that Delhi will start preparing a “winter action plan" next week and called upon Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to implement the measures the national capital had taken last year to prevent worsening of air quality.

“Last year, we launched the ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ campaign to minimise vehicular pollution… set up a ‘Green War Room’ to monitor and coordinate anti-pollution efforts. We also conducted an anti-dust campaign which can be replicated in NCR areas of other states," the minister said. Rai said a group of representatives will call upon the Union environment minister and the Centre’s Commission for Air Quality Management and discuss the need of a joint action plan which can be enforced in Delhi and neighbouring states to fight air pollution during winters.

“We will discuss with the commission and the Union environment minister the problem of stubble burning in neighbouring states and the steps taken by the Delhi government to solve it," he said. Rai said Delhi experimented with Pusa bio decomposer, a microbial solution, for fermenting stubble into manure and it yielded good results.

The use of Pusa bio-decomposer should be scaled up and expedited in adjoining states, he said. “We are now at a juncture where the governments of the states surrounding Delhi need to take cognisance of the bio-decomposing solution. Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh need to step up and adopt this measure," Rai said.

“We will take up the issue with the Union minister and the central panel… If efforts in this direction are not expedited, it will be tough to deal with the stubble burning problem," he said.

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first published:September 07, 2021, 19:55 IST