New Delhi, November 6: A group of people gathered outside the office of the Environment Ministry on Tuesday, demanding clean air and quick implementation of the National Clean Air Programme that will help in combatting the alarming rise in the pollution level that has raised health concerns. The protesters held placards displaying messages like 'Delhi air is poisonous', 'breathing is killing me', '#My Right to Breathe' and 'Unbreathable India' outside the Indira Paryavaran Bhawan.
The protesters asked the government to stop stubble burning in areas surrounding Delhi. They also delivered a letter to Satyendra Kumar, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change demanding faster implementation of the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) with time-bound targeted pollution reduction plans. Delhi Air Pollution: 'Halt All Construction Activities from November 1', EPCA Tells DPCC.
The key components of the NCAP include city-specific air pollution abatement action plans for 100 polluting cities of the country, increasing the number of monitoring stations, data dissemination, public participation on planning and implementation.
"For my children to have the lungs of a smoker by their teens, though no fault of their own, is absolutely unacceptable. As a mother I am absolutely appalled and ask our government what are they doing to keep my children and millions of other children from developing life long diseases by just living in India," asked Bhavreen M Kandhari, a mother who has petitioned the AAP government on the issue.
Ravina Raj Kohli from the citizens movement #MyRightToBreathe asks what are policy makers doing with this pool of money collected through various environmental cess and fines and why has it not been used to provide real and far-reaching solutions for the sake if saving lives.
"If we are to implement long lasting solutions to air pollution - we need to penalise polluters and demand that policy makers implement commitments like the 10,000 electric buses in Delhi and the solarisation of all public buildings so that we address sources of pollution and move towards sustainable growth," said Reecha Upadhyay, member of Help Delhi Breathe.
Groups and citizens are demanding a bipartisan approach to the air crisis across the country, particularly in Delhi.