Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday wrote a letter to the states and Union Territories over the implementational of the environmental rules post COVID-19 lockdown. According to the minister, due to the lockdown, there has been a significant reduction in industrial activity, vehicular movement, and construction activities that lead to an improvement in the air and water quality. He urged the states and union territories' authorities to maintain an improved environment even after the lockdown is lifted.
The Union Minister wrote, "As normal life will resume, it would become more and more challenging to sustain current environmental gains. We have a chance to prove that we can have a much-improved environment even during normal activities. This is a challenge which will have to be met by state authorities by strict enforcement of environmental norms and rules."
According to him, the country should look over the quantum improvement in things like waste management, industrial discharge, river quality, and emission levels in order to maintain the environment levels. "Various reports have pointed out that there has been a significant improvement in the air and the water quality besides the reduction in noise pollution during the lockdown. This is the benchmark that we need to strive for even in the normal times with the majority of our activities going on," he added.
In a yet another extension, the Centre on Sunday announced the continuance of India's nationwide Coronavirus lockdown till May 31. Issuing a nine-page guideline, the Union Home Ministry listed the dos and don'ts during the lockdown 4.0. Meanwhile, ahead of the nationwide lockdown, five states - Punjab, Mizoram, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana had already extended their state lockdown as cases soared, while Karanataka had extended its lockdown till May 19.
India's COVID-19 count has reached 96,169. Of these 36,823 have been cured and 3,029 have died. Meanwhile, PM Modi announced a financial package worth Rs.20 lakh crore- i.e 10% of the country's GDP.