New Delhi, Dec 4: Air quality in Delhi has been going from bad to worse and the situation is "serious", Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today said, claiming the government has prepared a one-year plan to improve it.
He said steps have been taken to improve air pollution levels in the national capital, and support has been sought from various agencies and governments, besides public, in winning the war against pollution.
"As far as Delhi's air pollution is concerned, we recognise that the situation is serious. But as we all know that air pollution is a global problem in many cities world over and in Delhi, air quality is going from bad to worse for last 10 years," Javadekar told PTI.
He said though "we have got it in inheritance, we are dealing with it". "With people's participation, we can win the war against pollution... Because I believe fresh air is birth right of every citizen and they must get it and we are duty-bound to do that in a time-bound manner," he said.
"We have taken all agencies together, have prepared one year plan and we have reviewing every three months. So the situation is improving. But after all this is done and succeeded, still people's participation is the key," he said.
He said five basic decisions have been taken to correct the situation that includes preponing the Euro IV, V, VI norms that will change the pollution scenario in the days to come.
Noting that it is a "major decision", he said earlier the Euro VI migration was to happen in 2024, now it will happen in 2021. Euro V, that we call as Bharat V, will happen in 2019. Euro IV (Bharat IV) will be implemented throughout the country in 2017 and "that is a major improvement for air quality".
Javadekar said with consistent efforts of working with state governments of Punjab and Haryana, stubble burning this time has come down by 25 per cent which is a "major relief".
He added that due to a "positive" attitude of the government, the Supreme Court could levy a fine on 'undestined' vehicles as tax. "Therefore, 42,000 undestined vehicles which were coming and passing through Delhi... now two-thirds out of them have been diverted," he said.