Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev on Sunday emphasised the need for joint efforts by the government and citizens to combat pollution, with greater coordination between policymakers and those implementing the policy.
“Community groups and residents’ welfare associations should be empowered and made partners in enforcement of laws and standards with harsh measures taken whenever required,” said Mr. Dev. He was speaking at a consultation organised by the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy at O.P. Jindal Global University.
Fuel substitution policy, quicker transition to BS-VI norms, electric charging points across the country for vehicles, regulatory performance index, holding authorities accountable, spreading awareness, community kilns and green fund were among the many suggestions made by senior government officials, concerned citizens, scholars and activists who attended the consultation.
Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority chairperson Bhure Lal said air pollution has socio-economic dimensions and needs a cultural change to combat it. “Our pollution levels need to be reduced drastically — almost by 70% — to enable us lead a clean and healthy life. The way to do that is to resort to the principle of recycle and reuse, as well as develop a more efficient public transport system,” Mr. Lal said.
Vice-Chancellor C. Raj Kumar said: “We need an informed understanding of air pollution and its problems to arrive at solutions. Many cities in South Korea, China and the United States have set amazing examples to curb this menace and it is our turn now to make Delhi pollution free. We really wish to be a society that respects the environment. The first and foremost step that we have to take is to change the way of life and develop the essence of collective consciousness so that people become much more environmentally sensitive. ”