10,000 Delhiites sign up for #DelhiAgainstPollution from upcoming elections

Environment and climate change

New Delhi, January 21 : As Assembly elections in Delhi come closer, it is clear that pollution ranks high on public agenda as a key demand from political candidates.

United Residents Joint Action (URJA), the apex body of Delhi’s residential welfare associations, released the People’s Green Manifesto 2020 last month and in the last two weeks, it has accumulated more than 10,000 signatures from across the city demanding #DelhiAgainstPollution.

It is the first time ever, when pollution has figured so prominently in citizen demands for Delhi elections.

The citizens manifesto provides solutions, roadmap and time-bound targets to achieve 10 demands which collectively aspire towards tackling air, water and solid waste pollution, like 65% reduction in air pollution levels by 2025 to meet the national standards for safeguarding public health, 100% clean energy for all by 2050, with 25% by 2025, public transport for at least 80% of Delhi’s population, promote electric mobility with 50% EVs in new vehicle registrations by 2025, zero waste to landfills by 2025 and a common regional minimum air-shed programme in consultation with NCR states, to enunciate a few of the demands.

The recently released Kejriwal 10 promises guarantee card by AAP include the citizens demand of reducing air pollution, clean water, solid waste management and increased public transportation in the city among the 10 promises. It aims to achieve clean air by planting over 2 crore trees. Experts say that a complex problem like air pollution needs to be tackled on all fronts, and will require not just tree plantation, but also reducing industrial pollution, shifting to electric public transport, and checking in construction and road dust.

Atul Goyal, President, URJA said,

“Our meetings with political candidates and leaders of Aam aadmi Party, BJP and Congress have shown that air and water pollution is a priority for them. There is no hiding from the fact that pollution is a top agenda for Delhi’s 2020 elections and for any political party to come to power in the national capital for the next 5 years, they have to be committed to their promise and execution of these plans. Citizens are no longer looking for empty promises.”

URJA team met Atishi Marlena, Chairperson, Manifesto Committee, Aam Aadmi Party, who said

“It was an honour to meet the URJA team and to receive the people’s green manifesto. I think all these issues, public transport, air pollution, water pollution, sewage treatment, electric vehicles, are extremely relevant. Having a cleaner and greener city are going to be some of the highest priorities for the Aam Aadmi Party in the next tenure. And we are very happy to know that citizens have come together to give these suggestions”

Kapil Mishra, Member, BJP’s Manifesto Committee said, when presented with the citizens manifesto,

“A lot of the demands are on transport management, air pollution, solid waste, clean water and tree plantation, whichever party makes the government in Delhi for the next 5 years should focus on these issues. We will take URJA’s People’s Green Manifesto into consideration and I promise that the BJP’s will also be a green manifesto and people’s demands will be included in it. When we form the government in Delhi in February 2020, we will make an environment and ecologically friendly government to improve the city.”

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