Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has introduced a seven-point action plan to tackle pollution in the city due to stubble burning, on Friday. The plan includes the reintroduction of the Odd-Even scheme, distribution of masks, tree plantations, and plans for 12 pollution hotspots in the city.
Briefing reporters on the winter action plan, Kejriwal spoke about the Odd-Even scheme which will be re-implemented in the capital city from November 4 to 15. He said women drivers will be exempted from the Odd-Even plan and it will not be applicable on the weekends. He also said, "If you enforce Odd-Even for a long time, the implementation becomes troublesome. As of now, Odd-Even will only be restricted to this time frame. Emergency vehicles will not be subject to this.”
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The CM said that the Delhi government is procuring masks on a massive scale and will make them available to the people for free. They will start making them available in October, so that people have them before November 1 when smoke starts coming. The masks acquired are of N95 category.
Kejriwal also requested that people abstain from burning crackers as the Supreme Court has banned the sale of crackers in Delhi. He also said that the government will host a laser show for the people on Chhoti Diwali. Kejriwal announced that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi will also adopt mechanised sweeping and use water sprinklers to control dust. “We want to achieve 100% mechanised sweeping in Delhi,” he said
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There will be a separate action plan for pollution control for 12 critical areas or 12 pollution hotspots. Every ward in Delhi will have two environment marshals to discourage people from burning garbage during winters. He also stated that the water sprinklers will be installed to control dust pollution.
The Delhi government will undertake a tree plantation drive and the Delhi Chief called it “daily tree challenge”. A dedicated helpline will also be set up which will help people plant more trees. A war room will also be developed to address public grievances. From the seven points, only the Odd-Scheme and the point about the burning of fireworks will be temporary. The other points will be implemented for the whole of winter. He also said that the government was taking several measures to control pollution levels in the national capital.