NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday participated in the C40 Cities Summit at Copenhagen over video conference during which he spoke about the Odd-Even scheme, mass green plantation drives and other measures taken to check air pollution in Delhi.
Kejriwal announced that his government will constitute a Special Task Force that will monitor Delhi’s progress towards meeting the goals in the C40 Declaration. “I will chair a Clean Air Task Force that will consist of ministers and officials from various departments. We will together monitor Delhi’s progress in meeting our goals to make air clean,” he said at the summit’s ‘Breathe Deeply’ session.
Delhi is often in news for high-level of air pollution with the city often ranking among the most polluted cities in the world.
After the Centre denied clearance to the Delhi CM for attending the summit on climate change, the event organisers had requested him to address the summit through video. “I wanted to be here personally but could not do so because of unavoidable circumstances,” Kejriwal said.
The CM spoke about his government’s decision to shut down power plants, undertake afforestation and cutting down use of diesel-powered generators.“Good environmental policies also make for good politics. We will undertake a large scale expansion in public transport by doubling our city bus fleet, inducting at least 1,000 fully electric buses, and encouraging the adoption of e-vehicles. We received positive feedback from the citizens, and they accepted Odd-Even wholeheartedly. I am very happy to announce that New Delhi is joining 37 other cities from around the world in signing the C40 Clear Air Cities Declaration,” the CM said in his address. “A good news is that in the last many years, Delhi was struggling against high pollution, but now it has gone down by 25 per cent over the last three years.”
Hailing the role of young Swedish green activist Greta Thunberg, who recently addressed the UN climate change conference, Kejriwal said: “Greta has united people all over the world. Young people from around the world are coming out in support of Greta and the cause she has espoused.”
CM speaks in HINDI at two sessions
Kejriwal addressed two sessions via video conferencing in Hindi at the C40 World Mayors Summit. The chief minister said he intends to do so at all international forums hereon. “I am not against speaking English, but when it comes to representing India, I’ll speak in Hindi,” Kejriwal later said in a press statement. Later, he posted on Twitter his reasons for making his statement in Hindi. The CM said he had noticed that many people feel ashamed when they speak in Hindi. This, Kejriwal asserted, the mentality was not right.