Terming Delhi’s smog situation a serious issue, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave on Thursday said his ministry will soon issue an advisory to the states concerned on taking up short, medium and long term measures to tackle air pollution, after holding wide consultations. Dave said he has asked his ministry to hold a meeting with secretaries of NCR states on Friday after which he will hold meetings with all the state environment ministers, other stakeholders like NGOs, and then the advisory will be issued.
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He said although the problem had been persistent, Diwali aggravated the situation and collective effort from each individual is needed to tackle the issue.
“Tomorrow all the state secretaries have been called for a meeting. Then I will hold a meeting with ministers of concerned states and then also hold consultations with various stakeholders. Then what could be a short, medium and long term plan to tackle air pollution for Delhi, what can be done today and next year, we will discuss that and we will issue a recommendation or advisory and tell the states to implement it,” the Union Minister said.
“Making allegations and counter allegations is part of politics. I do not belong to that stream. This is a problem which is in front of Delhi. If we want a solution, then we have to work collectively for this. Every person is a polluter,” he said.
He said stricter rules need to be enforced to tackle the air pollution problem and the ministry will urge the states to do so.
“The seriousness which should be there…street smart is different but if you really want any big change, then you yourself have to become big. We are talking about one day but not 365 days. The situation was bad in all 365 days and Diwali aggravated it. Without naming the Delhi government, Dave said this is a democratic country where even for a small issue, any leader takes to the streets and being “street smart” might get one short gains but not long term ones.
“Street smart is bad for long term. One may get short term gains through it,” he said when asked if the issue of pollution has become a thing of politics. Asked whether states should experiment more like the odd-even scheme implemented by the Delhi government, Dave said states have the right to do it but experiments and politics should be kept separate.
The national capital has been engulfed in a thick cover of pollutant-laden smog for the past few days, primarily after Diwali, forcing the residents to inhale ‘severe’ quality air.