DELHI:EROS TIMES: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday declared that the people of Delhi have launched a mass movement to combat the serious menace of air pollution, which started with the biggest ever plantation drive in the history of this capital city, during which more than five lakh trees and saplings were planted at 643 locations across the national capital.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion at Garhi Mandu in North East Delhi, after planting a sapling himself, the Chief Minister said :“Delhi is battling severe air pollution and we can feel the dust around us, all of us are responsible for this situation and now the onus is on all of us to resolve this.
“Latest studies show that 70 % of air pollution in Delhi is caused by sources which are outside Delhi, mainly in the neighboring states, and Delhi itself is responsible for only 30 % of air pollution in this city. This, however, cannot be an excuse for us to remain idle and sit quietly.
“We will have to do whatever we can to control air pollution, since we are the contributors so we ourselves will have to find the solution for external and internal sources of air pollution in Delhi.
“One of the main practical solutions is to plant as many trees and shrubs as we can. There are so many children present here today, I would like to tell them that as children we were also taught that trees and green plants inhale Carbon di-oxide and release Oxygen into the atmosphere. Therefore, these plants absorb pollution and provide fresh air to us.
“I am very happy to state that thousands of residents of Delhi today, schools, RWAs, market associations and individuals have come forward to plant lakhs of trees and shrubs today.
“It is a happy beginning that the fight against air pollution has taken the shape of a festive occasion. It has become a movement in Delhi and we have all come together to fight the menace. So all of us have to increase the green cover on the one hand and on the other, we have to take active steps that we do not contribute to air pollution ourselves.
“I urge the students to plant as many trees as you can and post those pictures on your Facebook and send it on Whats app. Put a picture of you planting a tree at your home also. One more thing, apart from here please one plant at your place also and be the caretaker of that plant,” urged the Chief Minister to the school students and others present at the venue,” the Chief Minister said in his address.
Cabinet ministers, MLAs of the area and senior officials of the Environment and Forest Department were present at the occasion.
At Garhi Mandu, more than 6000 children, volunteers, NGOs, RWAs & Villagers participated in the mass plantation drive. About 60,000 plants had been planted at the venue and in adjoining areas till 2 PM itself.
Environment and Forests Minister Imran Hussain led the plantation drive at Jaunapur forests.
The Forest Department in association with 132 Eco Task Force planted about 75,000 plants upto 02:00 PM at this venue. During this campaign more than 3500 school children, teachers, army personnel, senior government officials and local residents carried out the plantation.
Transport and Revenue Minister Mr Kailash Gahlot, presided over the plantation drive at Mitraon City Forests in Najafgarh, where 6200 saplings were planted upto 02:00 PM and plantation was still in progress.
MLAs led the plantation drives in their respective constituencies with the active cooperation of RWAs and market associations.
School children across Delhi enthusiastically participated in the plantation drives and the Delhi government thanks the residents for their active cooperation to the mega plantation drive.
The plantation drive was planned and implemented by the Department of
Environment, Forests and Wildlife, in coordination with various Greening Agencies viz. three Municipal Corporations, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Parks & Gardens Society, New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Cantonment Board, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), CPWD, PWD, Education Department, Health Department, DSIIDC, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), BSES, Tata Power, DTC etc.
Various District Magistrates and SDMs along with their teams played a key role in ensuring the success of this Plantation Drive.