Delhi Government Initiates ‘Environmental Experts Meet’ to Shape Winter Action Plan

In a concerted effort to tackle the pressing issue of air pollution and improve the winter action plan for the national capital, the Delhi Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, led a crucial ‘Environmental Expert Meet’ held at the Delhi Secretariat today. The event saw the active participation of key stakeholders, including officers and representatives from DPCC, Environment Department, UNEP, CSE, C40, EPIC India, Clean Air Asia, and IIT Kanpur, among others.

The primary focus of the meeting was to devise comprehensive strategies to mitigate pollution and enhance air quality during the upcoming winter season. A pivotal announcement during the event was the intention to develop separate action plans for 13 identified pollution hotspots within Delhi. Gopal Rai emphasized that this targeted approach would effectively reduce pollution levels and improve air quality in specific areas.

One of the highlights of the ‘Environmental Expert Meet’ was a presentation by experts from IIT Kanpur on the concept of artificial rain. Recognizing the importance of this innovative approach, Gopal Rai instructed IIT Kanpur to prepare a detailed presentation, encompassing all facets of artificial rain implementation in Delhi. This presentation will be presented to the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, as the government explores innovative solutions to reduce the number of severe pollution days.

Addressing the audience, Gopal Rai underscored the importance of involving experts and institutions in shaping the Winter Action Plan. He highlighted the substantial progress made in combating air pollution over the past nine years, citing a remarkable 42% reduction in PM 10 and a 46% decrease in PM 2.5 levels. This progress has been achieved through consistent efforts, including the annual launch of summer and winter action plans.

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The ‘Environmental Expert Meet’ featured insights and recommendations from 24 experts, representing organizations such as CSE, SSEE (Sustainable Social Environmental Enterprise), IIT Kanpur, CSTEP (Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy), WRI India (World Resources Institute), A-PAG, Clean Air Asia, ICCT (International Council on Clean Transportation), UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), NITI Aayog, EPIC India, CEEW (Council on Environment, Energy, and Water), and others. These experts shared their perspectives on critical issues such as vehicle and dust pollution, pollution hotspots, green area development, stubble and garbage burning, and communication with the central government and neighboring states.

The meeting concluded with an announcement of a joint review meeting scheduled for September 14th, in which all 28 concerned departments will collaborate to delineate specific responsibilities based on the key points outlined in the Winter Action Plan.