Nearly 70 per cent people in the national capital refrained from bursting firecrackers on Diwali this year, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Monday. This was after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had imposed a ban on the same and the results will be better next year, Rai asserted.
He also said that a long-term solution to the problem of pollution "cannot be found in a day".
"Around 70 per cent of the residents of the city did not burn firecrackers after the government imposed a ban on the same. I hope that the results will be better next year," he told reporters.
On November 5, the Delhi government in order had banned the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in the national capital till November 30.
The National Green Tribunal had also imposed a total ban on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region from November 9 midnight to November 30 midnight, saying "celebration by crackers is for happiness and not to celebrate deaths and diseases".
Rai, who launched the Phase 2 of 'Red light on Gaadi Off' campaign along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday, said Pusa bio-decomposer has emerged as a long-term solution to the problem of stubble burning.
According to scientists at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, the solution can turn crop residue into manure in 15 to 20 days and therefore prevent stubble burning.
The minister said the Delhi government will submit the Pusa bio-decomposer impact assessment report along with a petition to the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Adjoining Areas on Monday, and urge it to issue directions to all state governments to implement it.
Sisodia stressed the need for steps to reduce "pollution at its source" to effectively address the issue of bad air quality.
"There are multiple sources that contribute to pollution. If it is due to vehicles, their number should be reduced or these should be turned off at red light.. If it is stubble burning, a solution such as Pusa bio decomposer is needed," he said.
The AAP government has extended the 'Red light on Gaadi Off' campaign to curb vehicular pollution till November 30.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched the campaign on October 21, saying that even if 10 lakh vehicles in the city join the campaign, the PM10 levels would fall by 1.5 tonnes and PM2.5 by 0.4 tonnes in a year.
Rai had earlier said that switching vehicles off at red light can reduce vehicular pollution by 15-20 per cent.