New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday said that the number of "bad air days" in India has reduced from 250 in 2016 to 180 in 2019, adding that the country's green cover has increased by 15,000 sq km in the last five years.

During a Facebook interaction, the Union Minister said that the central government has prepared "short-term, medium-term and long-term plans" to tackle pollution in the national capital, noting that the same approach will be adopted for another 100 cities in India.

He also said that BSVI fuel has been introduced by the Centre which reduces vehicular emissions by up to 60 per cent. He further said that the Centre is taking steps to phase out pollution-causing power plants by 2022.

He further said the pollution problem cannot be resolved in a day and continuous efforts are needed to tackle each of the contributing factors, adding that the major factors behind air pollution in the country are traffic, industries, waste, dust, stubble, geography and meteorology.

The soil type in north India is alluvial. Therefore, there's a lot of dust, which is the major reason behind air pollution in the region, he said.

"Dust suppressant and water sprinklers are used to tackle it... We have also been asking all agencies, (state) governments and corporations, to close unpaved roads," Javadekar said.

He added, "The pollution problem cannot be resolved in one day. Continuous efforts needed to tackle each of the contributing factors."

Javadekar said e-vehicles are becoming popular and over two lakh e-vehicles were being used in India currently with the government having provided subsidy for around 70,000 of those.

"I myself use an e-vehicle. The e-car is economical... one can travel a kilometer in 70-80 paise. I also drive an e-scooty."

Javadekar said people have a big role to play in tackling air pollution and urged them to download 'Sameer' mobile application of the Central Pollution Control Board for monitoring pollution levels in different cities.

He asked people to segregate waste for better waste management, ensure regular maintenance of vehicles, take public transport and use bicycle.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma