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Air pollution: Minister Khandre warns Bengaluru heading Delhi way

Khandre spoke about the initiatives being taken by the state government to improve air quality, including the initiative to plant 5 crore saplings every year.
Last Updated : 25 August 2023, 11:32 IST

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Forest, Ecology and Environment Minister Eshwar B Khandre warned on Friday that Bengaluru was heading the way of Delhi which is turned into a "gas chamber" during winter months due to the high air pollution.

At the India Clean Air Summit, Khandre reiterated his commitment to make Karnataka sustainable.

"Together, as responsible stakeholders, we can protect our environment.. I would specifically like to point out the case of New Delhi. Every year, in the winter season, the megapolis turns into a gas chamber, thanks to very bad quality and air and the haze, making breathing a laborious task for its residents," he said.

Khandre spoke about the initiatives being taken by the state government to improve air quality, including the initiative to plant 5 crore saplings every year. "We have already planted 3 crore saplings in 3.5 months. We are in the process of regulating highly polluting industries, especially the ones from the red category which have a propensity to contribute towards the further deterioration of the existing conditions," he said.

Referring to the challenges posed by climate change, Khandre cautioned against taking the natural resources for granted. "We live in fortunate times but these fortunate times might not last. Today, our collective survival is at stake, thanks to one of the biggest threats to our continued existence and sustenance on earth: climate change. It is our collective duty to protect whatever we have built this far. It's important to transition Karnataka's emerging economy towards becoming carbon neutral," he said.

Former member secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) stressed the need to deploy calibrated instruments to obtain quality data for monitoring air quality, especially in industrial areas. "Decarbonisation is a necessity for India's sustainable future. Only by reimagining our industries and energy systems can we pave the way for a cleaner, greener and more resilient India for generations to come," he said.

Jai Asundi, executive director of Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), which has organised the summit, said a continuous dialogue with all the stakeholders will further help in achieving the national clean air programme targets and the sustainable development goals.

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Published 25 August 2023, 11:32 IST

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