Delhi to mount massive fight against air pollution, CII pitches in

New Delhi (NVI): The Delhi Government and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are going to mount a massive fight against air pollution with the former recently approving Rs 36 crore for related mass awareness campaigns and the latter adopting over 100 villages and 100,000 acres of farm area in Punjab and Haryana to enable zero crop residue burning.

 

The data show that air pollution reaches alarming levels in north India during winter months as farmers burn the farm residue.

“The Delhi government is committed to not just reducing pollution further in the months to come, but also to protect citizens from the health hazards posed by the sudden spike in air pollution. The Cabinet has approved an expenditure of ₹36 crore from the budget of the Directorate of Information and Publicity towards the mass awareness campaigns,” an official statement said.

 

The money will be spent on outdoor awareness campaigns, and also for spreading awareness through electronic media, TV, and newspapers.

Research by Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago (EPIC) in slums of Delhi has shown that the usage of masks goes up substantially if masks are distributed free of cost. However, their usage is often low, despite free distribution, because of lack of awareness about masks, according to the Delhi government.

 

“The EPIC study showed that mask usage went up substantially when accompanied by an awareness campaign that de-stigmatised the use of masks. So, even when it comes to taking measures for health and safety of citizens, it is essential to build an active public awareness campaign,” the statement said.

 

Meanwhile the CII has adopted Ludhiana, Barnala and Patiala districts in Punjab, and Rohtak, Sirsa and Fatehabad in Haryana to facilitate zero stubble burning.

 

The CII has created an ecosystem to engage stakeholders, including experts, corporates, State governments, village community and farmer groups, to implement possible solutions to the issue of stubble burning, the industry body said in a statement.

 

Earlier in July this this year, the Delhi Cabinet had approved a proposal to make rainwater harvesting mandatory at all city government buildings. Meanwhile the much-debated Odd-Even formula for allowing vehicles on Delhi roads is also going to kick in from November 4 and will continue till November 15.

 

-nad

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