NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Science and Technology and BJP candidate from Chandni Chowk constituency, Harsh Vardhan, on Sunday flayed recent global reports which claimed that over one million people had died in India due to pollution, and said that they were released only with the aim of causing panic.
“Regarding the high-profile data of millions of deaths, I do not agree with that because pollution can cause premature illness and other things. Pollution does affect health, but to create such a panicky situation and say millions of people are dying, I do not agree with that,” he said.
The minister also said that the government was doing its best to tackle air pollution.
“The number of achhe din is going up and bad days are coming down,” he said, and added that his government was working closely with the Aam Aadmi Party’s government in Delhi.
A recent Greenpeace report said that Delhi had topped the list of the most polluted cities in the world, and a report from the US had claimed that around 1.2 million people died in India in 2017 due to air pollution.
Harsh Vardhan also highlighted the government’s initiatives, and said campaigns had been launched to rid Delhi of pollution. “You must be already aware of our National Clean Air Program (NCAP) to improve air quality in 102 cities, where we found that the PM 10 levels were beyond the desirable levels consistently for five years.
He also said that around 60 teams of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) were sent to Delhi to tackle pollution. “On two occasions, we took initiatives jointly. Both the governments (the Centre and Delhi government) did historic 15-20 days extensive drives by visiting various sites causing pollution in the national capital,” he said.
The minister also urged the people to be conscious and responsible towards the environment.
“People have to change their habits and focus on environment-friendly actions. That is why we launched Green Good Deeds movement in the country, which has been recognised by the United Nations and talked about in BRICS. We are doing our best,” he said.