Delhi with its gardens and green spaces, with its high levels of income and with its avenues for employment attracts nearby 5 lakh persons by way of in-migration every year. This rapid growth of Delhi has resulted in enormous pressure on existing service infrastructure and a significant increase in all types of environmental pollution.
Towards a Clean and Green Delhi
The strategic objective of the Govt. of Delhi has been to make Delhi a more environmentally sustainable and livable city This challenging task is being undertaken through a multidimensional approach:
Motivating citizens of Delhi to keep their surroundings clean and green.
Promoting an ethos of conservation of water by minimizing the use of water and wastage of water.
Motivating the citizens to imbibe habits and life styles supportive of minimum waste generation, source separation of waste, disposing off the waste at the nearest storage point.
Composting horticulture waste, to use it as a manure for kitchen gardens, nurseries, parks etc.
Creating awareness among public and sanitary workers to stop the indiscriminate burning of waste/leaves that causes air pollution.
Sensitising the citizens to minimise the use of polythene bags. Not to throw them in public places as they choke drains and sewers. Being non-biodegradable they cause water logging and provide breeding ground for mosquitoes. Also, to encourage the use of healthier alternatives like jute, cloth and recycled paper bags, etc.
Organising Tree Plantation programmes in schools, residential areas, parks, industrial areas etc.
Creating awareness for celebrating festivals like Dusshera, Diwali, Holi, in an eco friendly manner.
Educating the citizens about re-use of waste material by promoting the concept of the three R�s i.e. Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.
This multi-pronged approach of the Govt. of Delhi in the last four years has resulted in substantial improvement in ambient air quality, increase in green cover and creation of mass awareness towards environmental issues.
The major achievements of the last four years have been:
- Under plantation programme, Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs), Market Traders Associations (MTAs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Schools have joined hands with the government agencies. About 90 lakhs seedlings have been planted and 12 lakhs seedlings have been distributed by various greening agencies including Forest Deptt. during the last four years.
- In the year 2002, about 1.8 lakh saplings have been planted by the Forest Department and total 3.32 lakh saplings were planted by all Greening agencies. The Forest deptt. has distributed about 2 lakhs sapling to various stakeholders including 354 RWAs and 384 schools.
- As a result of intensive protection and rehabilitation measures undertaken during the last 4 years, there has been substantial improvement in green-cover in the Asola-Bhatti wild Life Sanctuary stretching over 6870 acres in the southern part of Delhi. The substantial improvement in forest quality has been reported in the State-of-Forest Report, published by the Forest Survey of India in the year 2002.
The forest cover of the NCT Delhi has increased from 26 sq. km in 1997 to 88 sq. km. In 2002 (i.e. an increase of 62 sq km). The city forests at Hauz Rani and Alipur have been developed, and the works at Nasirpur, Garhi mandu, Gogga, Mamoorpur, Mukhmelpur, Jindpur, Shahpur Garhi, Bawana, Mitraon, Anand Vihar, Sultanpur and Shikarpur, are in progress.
Environment Awareness Campaigns:
- More than 1200 Eco-clubs have been established in various schools/colleges of Delhi, which include more than 50% Government schools. These Eco-Clubs are conducting various environmental activities throughout the year. At the end of every year, Annual Eco Meet and Environmental Exhibition is organized wherein the representatives from all the Eco-club schools participate and exhibit various eco friendly products.
- Anti-littering and anti-plastic bag campaign taken up under Bhagidari Programme involving Residents Welfare Associations, Market Traders Associations, Schools, NGOs, Corporates etc., to create awareness among citizens of Delhi. A plastic bag collection drive-cum-competition was organized in the year 2002 wherein about 5000 kg used plastic bags were collected during the drive and a huge Dinosaur was made from collected plastic bags.
- Eco-care programme (Environment and Sanitation drive) in the residential area is conducted with the help of RWAs, Eco-Club schools/colleges, NGOs, Educational Institutions etc. The first such Programme was conducted at Neeti Bagh in September 2002. It evoked enthusiastic response from all the stakeholders indicating the success of the Bhagidari concept.
- Anti-Fire Crackers Campaign is conducted every year on the occasion of Diwali festival with full support of citizens of Delhi especially the School children through eco clubs. The RWAs, NGOs, MTAs, Corporates are also actively involved. This campaign is one of the success stories of the Department of Environment since the last few years. The spirit of Bhagidari is a guiding factor behind the success.
- Khelo Holi Naturally Campaign is conducted every year during the Holi festival to encourage the use of Natural colours, instead of chemical and synthetic colours.
- Clean Yamuna Campaign is conducted every year during May/June with the help of Government Functionaries, NGOs, RWAs, NCC, Schools, and Hospitals etc. During the drive huge quantity of plastic bags, garbage, water hyacinths and general litter from river embankment were lifted and sent to the sanitary landfill sites.
- Yamuna Action plan Phase �II is coordinated by the Department and projects has been prioritized in association with DJB & MCD.
- The Delhi Plastic Bag (Manufacture, Sales and Usage) and Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 2000 and the Rules there under were enacted in order to restrict the use of plastic bags and ensure proper disposal of non-biodegradable garbage.
- Regulation for proper segregation of Bio-degradable and Non-biodegradable garbage at local community level is being implemented.
- For minimising waste, a campaign for adopting 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) is being conducted. Zero garbage concept has been launched in eco-club schools. Further, vermi composting has also been encouraged in various eco club schools, RWAs
- Segregation of garbage has been started in 125 colonies of MCD, NDMC and Delhi Cantonment Board areas.
- A number of projects on solid waste management have been sanctioned and are being implemented through various NGOs.
- In order to implement and create awareness regarding Bio Medical (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, a focused approach has been adopted. In the first phase, 100 bedded and above hospitals had been inspected and follow up actions have been initiated against individual hospitals.
Training of about 1000 health care personnel�s have been done at five leading hospitals along with NGOs and Centre for occupational and Environment Health LNJP hospital. I.I.T, Delhi has been awarded the work of effluent testing and incinerator monitoring in all the 100-bedded hospitals.
Conservation of water:
- Rain water harvesting and R&D projects have been sanctioned and are being implemented through RWAs, academic institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University and Indian Institute of Technology & by NGOs such as INTACH and Association for Environment and Development Research.
- Eco-club schools have also been sensitised for roof top rainwater harvesting.
. In the last four years, distinct improvement has been recorded in the ambient air quality of Delhi in terms of suspended particulate matter (SPM), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and Lead. This was achieved through persistent efforts by phasing out old commercial vehicles, introduction of unleaded petrol and low Sulphur diesel, extensive use of CNG based vehicles and increase in forest cover.