People share Clean Air Manifesto ahead of Delhi polls

The 'People's Green Manifesto 2020' presents 10 demands of the people of Delhi for the next five years to make the city sustainable. (Photo: PTI)

With Delhi persistently emerging as one of the most polluted cities globally, and governments -Central as well as state- shying away from taking tough measures, many citizen groups across the city have found it opportune to raise the issue of air pollution in the upcoming assembly elections. Recently, a special manifesto that calls for making clean air an essential issue for the polls next month, was unveiled in the city

The manifesto, titled “People’s Green Manifesto 2020”, presents ten demands of the people of Delhi for the next five years of government to make the city resource-wise and sustainable by 2025. It includes specific goals that residents would like to see achieved in the next five years. These includes, 65 per cent reduction in air pollution by 2025 to meet national standards, 15,000 buses on the roads, 100 per cent doorstep collection of waste, and most critically, 50% share of EVs in new vehicle registration by 2025, overhaul of PUC test regime and disincentives for non-electric vehicles, develop a ‘Regional Common Minimum Air-Shed Program’ in coordination with states of Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

Interestingly, in the event organised to release the manifesto, representatives from all three major political parties – BJP, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) – declared their commitment to the “clean air” manifesto. Speaking at the event, the residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) umbrella body URJA President Atul Goyal said: “Delhi is looking for strong leadership that can bring in structural reforms and revamp the policies needed to improve the air quality of the city.The people of Delhi expect their leaders to demonstrate leadership and showcase their solutions for the air pollution crisis,”

One of the event organisers, My Right To Breathe (MRTB), spokesperson Ravina Raj Kohli said: “With 80 people dying every day due to pollution from particulate matter, Delhi’s air pollution is a public health emergency.”

“The 2020 Delhi state elections are a critical opportunity for the people of Delhi to learn from these political parties about what their intentions and commitments are, for improving the air quality and quality of life in Delhi,” she added.

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