Neighbouring states to blame for Delhi's rising pollution levels: Rai

New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS): Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday reiterated that the neighbouring states failed to discharge their responsibilities, leading to rapid rise in the pollution level in the national capital.

"In several joint meetings held with the Union Environment Minister and Ministers of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh earlier, we had requested them to take the pollution problem seriously. But as the other states did not discharge their responsibilities properly, stubble burning is increasing rapidly resulting in rise in air pollution in Delhi," he said at the launch of the 'Red Light On, Gadi Off' campaign, which will continue till November 18.

"The campaign will go ahead only with public participation. If we all fight together, only then will we be able to reduce pollution," he said.

Rai said that according to data of the Petroleum Conservation Research Association, if people successfully follow the campaign to switch off their vehicles at traffic lights, then vehicular pollution in Delhi can be reduced by 13 to 20 per cent.

"The volume of vehicles running in Delhi in September is still the same now and the level of pollution was normal. The pollution levels are increasing in winter due to changing weather and stubble burning. We cannot do anything to stop the stubble burning that is going on in other states. That is why our effort is to reduce vehicular pollution in Delhi for some relief. For this, the Red Light On Gaadi Off campaign has been started," he added.

Rai said that research data on pollution shows that vehicular pollution plays a very prominent role in air pollution. The Delhi government is running an anti-dust campaign against dust pollution and similarly, the Red Light On Gaadi Off campaign has been started to reduce vehicular pollution.



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