Delhi to get BS VI-compliant vehicles by 2020, will check air pollution: Prakash Javadekar

Javadekar was addressing a press conference in Delhi. (Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Asserting that pollution from vehicles is a major cause of deteriorating air quality in the national capital, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday announced that BS VI-compliant vehicles will be coming to Delhi by April 2020 and it will result in a reduction of air pollution. "BS VI-compliant vehicles will be coming to Delhi by April 2020. BS-VI petrol/diesel is already available in Delhi-NCR. It will lead to a great reduction in air pollution from vehicles," said Javadekar in a press conference. Talking further about the poor air quality in Delhi, Javadekar said his government is making all effort to check the menace. "Since 2006, air quality in Delhi has been deteriorating rapidly. But till 2014, neither it was talked about nor much work was done to improve it. In 2015, PM brought in the Air Quality Index monitoring stations. At present, there are 113 AQI monitoring stations in Delhi/NCR and 29 more will be installed soon. The minister also advised people to avoid bursting crackers in the festive season as it pollutes the air. "I will advise that don't burst firecrackers, and I am confident that children themselves will ask parents to not buy firecrackers, but if someone wants to then buy green firecrackers, its a historic initiative of Dr Harsh Vardhan ji," said Javadekar. Javadekar's announcement came a month after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the city's air pollution is decreasing and the capital has witnessed a 25 per cent drop in the average presence of particulate matter of 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) in the air. "Steps being taken in the last few years appear to be working in the right direction. We want to thank the central government, MCDs, the Supreme Court and the people of Delhi. We have achieved this together," the chief minister said. Kejriwal had also said that the capital faces a challenge between October 25 and November 20 every year, when smoke released from the burning of stubble in nearby Haryana and Punjab veers towards Delhi, blanketing it with smog and turning it into a gas chamber . The chief minister had attributed the reduction in air pollution levels to a number of factors, including a reduction in the use of diesel generators after improvement in the power sector with 24/7 electricity supply in Delhi.