Sandeep Mishra, Director, Swachh Bharat Mission: “Delhi Forum of Clean Air will further enable implementation of our mission to clean Delhi through greater involvement of urban local bodies and citizens”.
2nd MAY, 2016 NEW DELHI: Faced with emergency air pollution levels, which led to emergency measures like the odd even initiative, the residents of Delhi today came together to start off ‘ Delhi Clean Air Forum’.
The forum is a citizen’s campaign that aims to engage and involve different Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) across Delhi on local air quality issues and solutions for long lasting change through on-ground pilots, awareness camps, and citizen activism.
The campaign was flagged off by the Delhi’s Nodal Minister of Health, PWD and Industry – Shri. Satyendra Jain. Speaking at the inaugural event held at IIC today, the minister said –
“Citizens and residents of Delhi have a crucial part to play in solving the air quality crisis. I congratulate URJA on the inception of Delhi Clean Air Forum; it is indeed an important step in the right direction. This will strengthen our mission towards making Delhi a word class city. We look forward to work closely with URJA on local civic issues”
The main issues that the Delhi Clean Air Forum will focus on are:
- Control of roadside dust and greening of walkways; while encouraging pedestrianisation.
- Prevention of dust from construction sites, burning of leaves and wastes.
- Control of vehicular pollution, and better polices for clean auto fuels; Understanding societal reasons for failure protecting the rights and safety of pedestrians
- Control of dangerous smoke from local restaurants, hotel chimneys, cremation grounds and diesel generator sets.
- Energy Conservation and Efficiency
- Holding the local municipality, and government accountable to further undertake holistic air quality management plans.
- Encouraging initiatives that decongest our roads and demand for better public transport.
Present at the occasion Ms. Anumita Roychowdhary Executive Director, Centre for Science & Environment said
“20 years back when we at CSE started our first fight against air pollution in the city. Citizen’s awareness and involvement was very critical at that point time. Today Delhi Clean Air forum is a testimony of empowered citizens taking necessary step towards creating sustainable neighborhood”.
In a daylong discussion held between residents, politicians, technical experts and officers from various domain. Delhi Clean Air Forum went on to understand on what Delhi has achieved so far in terms of measures taken to mitigate air pollution. At the same time it re-looked at the tasks that remains to be tackled while finding long – term solutions to Delhi’s air problem.
Speaking at the inaugural, President URJA, Shri. Atul Goyal, said – “This campaign intends to bring together all the active RWAs of Delhi and provide innovative ideas for citizen engagement, pilot projects and initiatives for sustainable resource use”
“What we need is to develop a culture of social mobilisation, so it becomes easier for the government and NGOs to work together in finding solution and eliminate challenges on ground. This cannot be achieved by depending on a supply-driven top down approach to clean Delhi. The need of the hour is a demand-driven bottom up approach that works” he added. Shri. Ashutosh Dikshit, CEO URJA said- “It’s time to re-look at neighborhood air quality issues through the prism of civic infrastructure management and solutions that practically work for RWA’s”.
Today was the first zonal level discussion, URJA will be organizing four zonal level & 2 rural multiple stakeholder Dialogue & Discussions from today and concluding on 15th June. URJA also plans to conduct ‘Best RWA Award Winning Ceremony on 29th June 2016.