NEW DELHI: Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on Monday announced that BS6-compliant vehicles will be coming in Delhi in April 2020, which will help reduce air pollution.
Addressing the media on various issues related to environment, Mr Javadekar said, ''Since 2006, air quality in Delhi has been deteriorating rapidly. But till 2014, neither it was talked about nor much was done to improve it. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi started Air Quality Index (AQI) which gives minute by minute data of air quality. 113 AQI monitoring stations are present in Delhi/NCR and 29 more to be installed soon."
''BS6-compliant vehicles will be coming in Delhi in April 2020. BS6 petrol/diesel is already available in Delhi/NCR. It will lead to great reduction in air pollution from vehicles. Recognition of the existence of a problem is the beginning of the solution of a problem. Mr Modi launched AQI for India - that is first recognition of a problem,'' he said.
The Minister said that Delhi has one of the best metro networks of the country due to which over four lakh motor vehicles are off the roads, thereby reducing pollution. ''Delhi Metro has significantly reduced the number of motors on the road,'' he said.
The Minister also advised people to avoid bursting crackers in the festive season as it pollutes the air. ''I will advise against bursting firecrackers, and am confident that children themselves will ask parents to not buy firecrackers, but if someone wants to then buy green firecrackers, its a historic initiative of Dr Harsh Vardhan. As many as 200 MoUs for green fire crackers have been signed by Dr Vardhan,'' he said.
On the Aarey Forest protest, the Minister said, ''I will not comment on the matter as the matter was in Supreme Court and it has said what it had to."
On the issue of stubble burning in Northern India, the Minister added, ''We are trying to reduce stubble burning. We will be meeting state governments next week." Delhi's air quality had deteriorated to the 'moderate' category with an AQI reading of 141.