Reena Gupta, a senior leader and National spokesperson of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has criticized the Central Government for not having a concrete action plan to address air pollution in Northern India.
During a press conference, Gupta stated, “People in Northern India are suffering from air pollution, and the Central Government lacks a clear plan to control it. Surprisingly, on October 24, the Central Government shut down the SAFAR website, which is a system for measuring air quality. We started raising our voices about the fact that 70 percent of Delhi’s air pollution originates from outside Delhi, with much of it coming from BJP-ruled states.” SAFAR, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research, is a national initiative developed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences to monitor air quality in metropolitan areas. Gupta continued, “Currently, only the Kejriwal government in Delhi is taking robust measures to combat air pollution through the implementation of winter and summer action plans. As a result, Delhi’s air quality has improved by 30 percent in recent years.”
Reena Gupta voiced concerns about the deteriorating air quality in northern India during the winter season and the impact of external sources of pollution. She emphasized that 70 percent of Delhi’s air pollution originates from outside states, as indicated by data from the central government’s IMD department. However, she also noted that the Central Government had shut down the website that provided this information.
Gupta expressed her worries about rising levels of air pollution and the health consequences, especially for individuals with asthma during the winter months. She highlighted that as of 2019, 99.5 percent of districts in India did not meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality guidelines, indicating that a significant portion of the population is breathing unhealthy air. Gupta urged the Central Government to take appropriate measures to address this critical health issue.
Reena Gupta emphasized that only Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has shown genuine concern for the health of the people. She pointed out that CM Arvind Kejriwal annually announces the ‘Winter Action Plan’ and ‘Summer Action Plan’ to outline the measures taken by the Delhi Government to protect the public from worsening environmental conditions. Gupta highlighted a concerning fact that out of the 50 most polluted cities globally, 39 are located in India, and among these, 20 are in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). However, she noted that the BJP-led UP government has never prioritized “Air Quality” in their efforts. In contrast, she credited the Delhi government for its dedicated work on improving air quality, which has led to a 30 percent improvement.