Delhiites raise voice for clean air as election demand

Delhiites raise voice for clean air as election demand

New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) What started with a clean air agenda in Delhi has now turned into a citizen-led movement to petition election candidates to work for clean air.

In a movement to promote clean air as a major demand for Delhi voters in the upcoming elections, over 1.9 lakh locals from 30 constituencies have advocated the cause.

Citizens from around the national capital visited these 30 different locations to speak to people about their experiences with pollution, to share information and their own stories, and to ask people to ‘vote’ symbolically, for a Delhi with clean air.

These people shared with them the Clean Air Manifesto, prepared by citizens groups, with 9 solutions for a less polluted city.

These voices included sanitation workers, rickshaw drivers, young mothers, RWA members: citizens from all over the city.

“The Dilli Dhadakne Do campaign was designed to share the affects of air pollution on Delhi citizens, and to showcase the power of their concern. I am glad to see all three contesting parties talking about air pollution and elections for the first time. We will be holding the new government accountable to their promises,” said Rajeev Suri, spokesperson for My Right to breathe campaign.

Earlier in January, keeping in view the upcoming election in the national capital, various citizen groups from around the city had unveiled a special manifesto aiming for clean air as a demand of locals and voters in the upcoming elections.

The manifesto was named “People’s Manifesto for Clean Air”, and aims to bring up clean air as an essential demand in the elections and later in government policies.

It included specific goals that residents would like to see in the next five years, like 15,000 buses on the roads by 2025; 100% doorstep collection of waste, and most critically, a 65% reduction in air pollution by 2025 to meet national standards.

While speaking at the conference, Atul Goyal, President of URJA (umbrella body for thousands of RWAs in Delhi) said, “Delhi is looking for strong leadership that can bring in structural reforms and revamp the policies needed to improve the air quality of the city.”

“The people of Delhi expect their leaders to demonstrate leadership and showcase their solutions for the air pollution crisis,” he added.

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