New Delhi, Oct 12 (PTI) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday urged Delhiites to help bring down pollution in the city by not using their vehicle once a week and turning off engines at red lights.
He also noted that pollution caused locally was within the safe limits, but stubble burning in other states is pushing it up.
"I have been tweeting air quality data for past one month. It shows pollution has started increasing because neighbouring states did not help their farmers who are forced to burn paddy straw stubble," he said.
The chief minister said that it is high time Delhiites took responsibility to bring down the city''s pollution levels.
"It is necessary that every individual takes responsibility and contributes to the three measures including ''Red Light On Vehicle Off'' campaign starting from October 18, to at least reduce pollution generated locally," he said.
Experts say keeping vehicle engines off at red lights could save Rs 250 crore and reduce pollution by 13-20 percent, he said.
He also urged people to use public transport or pool car at least once in a week.
People should also become eyes and ears of the Delhi government by reporting incidents of pollution like garbage burning so that it could be checked, he added.
Later in the day, the government issued a statement in which Kejriwal alleged that neighbouring states were not cooperating in Delhi''s cause and people will have to fight against pollution themselves as much as possible to protect Delhi.
He claimed that it was very evident in NASA''s satellite images that stubble burning has started in Delhi’s neighbouring states. Delhi will have to again bear with incessant winter pollution, he said.
"Because of active participation of Delhiites in our campaigns, we have been able to reduce both PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels by 25. However, the fight doesn''t end here. Now that we are starting to experience air pollution coming from neighboring states we need to bolster Delhi''s own fight against pollution," Kejriwal said in the statement.
He said Delhi will do whatever it can to keep the levels of pollution considerably low.
"We keep on appealing to the Central government and neighbouring state governments to contribute to the cause, use bio-decomposer, help farmers but we don''t know if and when they will wake up and take up the cause," he said.
He said that the government had developed the Green Delhi app last year that has addressed around 23,000 complaints related to pollution so far.
"Submit a complaint of any kind of pollution we see, be it industrial, vehicular, or garbage burning. Our team will immediately act on it and reach the location to deal with the complaint registered," the statement quoted Kejriwal as saying.
He said that if people start following these three solutions — save fuel and combat pollution by switching off car engines on red lights, use public transport and avoid using vehicles and be active on the Green Delhi App — then Delhi will be making great progress in the fight against pollution.
Kejriwal had earlier this month launched a 10 point “winter action plan” to combat air pollution.
The "winter action plan" included a ban on the sale of firecrackers, installation of smog towers and stopping garbage burning among others. PTI VIT GVS AKM TIR