Consumer VOICE

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Towards a Cleaner Greener Delhi through Plantation Drive

Consumer VOICE,has been an active member of Green Action Week Campaign for some years now. As part of this year’s campaign on the theme of community sharing for a more sustainable life, Consumer Voice is collaborating with various RWAs (Resident Welfare Associations), school children and community leader for tree plantation drive.

Just to give you an idea on how the health of Delhi is rapidly here are some reports.

Facts Hard to Ignore

Delhi, in terms of air pollution, was ranked fourthamong the 41 most polluted cities in the world, inthe 90’s. The annual average levels ofsuspended particulate matter increased to 450µg/m3 during 1996, which is nearly three timesthe National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 140 µg/m3 for residential areas as notified by theMinistry of Environment, Govt. of India. Duringthis period, the annual average levels of CO alsoincreased to 5587 µg/m3 as against the NationalAmbient Air Quality Standard of 2000 µg/m3for the residential areas.

Vehicles, thermal powerplants and large as well as small-scale industrialunits in Delhi were the major sources of thesepollutants. Among the large-scale industries, thermal powerplants were the most prominent contributors toair pollution. Three coal based thermal powerplants namely Rajghat, I. P. and Badarpur Power Plant, which have a total generation capacity of1087 MW were responsible for as much as 10%(approx.) of the air pollution load in 2001.

(Ref: Delhi Pollution Control Committee)

Delhi has earned the infamous tag of becoming the most polluted city on Earth in 2017 with the  air quality index surging to 999, much above the acceptable limit. ( Ref: Vox)

However, a February report published by the  Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), shows that for the first time in Delhi air quality has started improving.

This reduction in pollution levels shows that we can make a difference. But the air is not completely clean yet. We must not lose the momentum in our fight for clean air. We must not lose sight of the fact that right to breathe is fundamental,” said Bhure Lal, EPCA chairperson, while releasing the Report Card.( Ref: Indian Environmental Portal)

Measures for Cleaner Air

Several protection methods are being undertaken by the Government of India and the Government of Delhi for cleaner air. Delhi’s forest cover has increased from 111 sq km in 2001 to 170 sq kms in 2003 leaping from 7.5% to 11.46% in just two years. DOEF and Delhi’s main urban development agency, Delhi Development authority are working together to develop city forests for healthy breathing in the city. As many as 25 protected forests have been set up in Delhi. With the rapid growth in urbanisation it is difficult to curb cutting of trees for various construction purposes though felling of trees is prohibited. So as per Delhi Preservation of Tree Act, 1994, a compensatory plantation of 10 trees is compulsory against every felled tree. (Delhi Government)

Keeping this thought in mind, Consumer VOICE has taken the initiative of planting trees through community sharing. On 8thSeptember, 2018, plantation drive was organised in Kalkaji depot which received a good response. Another similar drive will be taken up on 3rd October.

Let’s join hands to plant trees and save our present and future!

Divya Patwal

VOICE