Union Environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday attacked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “politicising” the menace of pollution and indulging in blame game.
Expressing his displeasure over recent politics done over the issue of pollution in the city, the minister stated that it is of utmost importance that one must unite and fight against air pollution.
“The central government has shown the way in making all the five state governments sit together and find solutions towards curbing air pollution,” he said.
Javadekar appealed for synergy and cooperation in dealing with pollution and said it should be the way forward, instead of resorting to politics and blame game.
Highlighting the role of the central government towards the problem of pollution in Delhi, the minister said earlier both the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways were only an issue of discussion, but the current government implemented and built the expressways in five years, and today around 60,000 vehicles have been diverted away from the national capital, which has led to substantial reduction in pollution.
Expressing discontent over the approach of the Delhi government, Javadekar said around Rs 3,500 crore, which was to be given by the state government for the Eastern Peripheral Expressway and a bypass road, was not released and only after the Supreme Court intervened an amount of Rs 1,000 crore was sanctioned.
“The Delhi chief minister is politicising the issue of air pollution and indulging in blame game. I will not stoop to their level.
Javadekar on Friday acquired electric vehicles for himself and his ministry saying it is “our duty to relieve the people” of this contaminated air.
“In a city like Delhi, where pollution spikes in winters, the e-vehicles will provide relief as they do not release particulate matter.
“I am very happy that we are starting the e-vehicles. I will also use it,” Javadekar said.
Flagging off the electric vehicles, the minister said the national e-mobility programme was launched under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year to get 30 per cent e-mobility by 2030.
The programme is being implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a joint venture of the PSUs under the Ministry of Power.
Speaking on the occasion, Javadekar stated the benefits of using e-vehicles, “E-cars are an attractive, sustainable and profitable solution to mitigate climate change and the risk of public health caused by vehicular emission.”
Elaborating about the conscious efforts being made by the government of India in enabling e-mobility in the country, he said, “The government is promoting e-mobility by taking a lead in changing the fleet of the existing petrol and diesel cars used for official purposes with electric cars. The current five lakh vehicles that are used by the government and its agencies across the country will be replaced by e-vehicles in a phased manner.”
At present, there are 1,500 electric cars in five states, including 65 charging stations in the national capital alone, Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director of EESL told PTI.
He said by charging electric cars for 90 minutes at Rs 160 it can run for 400 km.
Asked about the availability of enough charging stations to keep the cars running, Kumar said, “At present, we are providing one charging station for each car.”