New Delhi: Union Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar on Monday blamed the erstwhile UPA government for not doing much to improve the national capital’s air quality, which started deteriorating in 2007.

“It’s not that the pollution has risen suddenly as Delhi’s air quality had been worsening since 2007. The previous government did little to improve things,” Javdekar said here. 

“However, we have taken a lot of measures in the last one year,” he said while listing achievements of the environment, forest and climate change ministry in the past one year.

“Construction of the crucial ring road bypass that will prevent unwanted traffic into Delhi has begun and within the next two years, vehicles that are not destined for Delhi will not enter the city. Delhi Traffic Police too is working out ways to restrict the entry of overloaded trucks into the capital.”

Moreover, the minister said, pollution and dust from nearby states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab also contributed in a major way in Delhi’s poor air quality.

“The pollution from industries in Ghaziabad, dust from Rajasthan, they all contribute to Delhi’s air pollution,” Javdekar said. “We have adopted a multi-stakeholder approach, and have including all neighbouring states to improve Delhi.”

According to a report by the World Health Organization, air in Delhi is the most polluted in the world.

Even a study conducted in Delhi by the Central Pollution Control Board and Kolkata-based Chittaranjan National Cancer Research Centre found that every third child in Delhi had reduced lung function due to air pollution.

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