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Delhi air worsened since 2007, no discussion started then: Prakash Javadekar

PTI 08 Jun 2015, 22:32:36 PM IST

New Delhi: Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today criticised the previous UPA regime for the air pollution in Delhi, saying that the air quality had started worsening after 2007 and initiation of discussions then would have helped improved the situation.

Addressing a press conference on completion of one year of government, Javadekar said "effective" pollution control was one of the achievements of this government, and noted that the launching of Comprehensive Air Quality Index by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the "biggest" initiative in this regard.

"In a discussion recently, it became clear that from 2007 Delhi's air quality was worsening. It kept on worsening. But unfortunately, this was not discussed during that time. I am not into blame game but scientists are telling this. Voices should have been raised then only. If it had been done, it would have bettered now," Javadekar said.

Discussions have now begun and steps have been taken by the present government, he said.

"We held three meetings. Three months' action plan was developed along with five state governments and various agencies. There has been progress on that. We give bulletins on eight parameters," he said.

Delhi is considered to be the most polluted cities in the world even surpassing Chinese capital Beijing.

However, Javadekar said Delhi's air pollution was not only because of the city, but due to various nearby states. Stubble burning in Punjab and industrial pollution from Uttar Pradesh have deteriorated the quality of air in the national capital.

On the measures taken, he said Punjab government has given subsidy to people who buy machines to cut stubble while a special campaign was launched in Delhi for 'safai karmacharis' for not burning waste. Delhi traffic police, with the support of  nearby states, are doing traffic management.

Haryana government along with the National Highway Authority of India is working on a bypass whose work will soon start. Vehicles which are not permitted to enter Delhi can take this bypass.

"This is a three month action plan. We will again sit in July," he said.