New Delhi: Government on Thrusday denied having received any report from the US embassy about Delhi's air pollution level, but admitted that air quality deteriorates during Diwali.
"The government has not received any such report from US embassy at Chanakyapuri in New Delhi," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.
On behalf of Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is now in Peru, Rijiju was answering a question on whether US embassy's pollution monitor here showed very unhealthy pollution levels in the national capital.
"However, as per newspaper reports quoting US embassy's website, it was claimed that the air in Delhi was very unhealthy on October 29, 2014 on the standards of Air Quality Index (AQI) which is followed in USA. Indian standards for monitoring air quality are comprehensive and different from that of USA," he said.
Admitting that air pollution escalates in Delhi during Diwali, Rijiju said the Delhi government runs anti-cracker campaign through eco-clubs in schools and undertakes public awareness.
"Ambient air quality is monitored in Delhi by Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Central Pollution Control Board during Diwali festival every year," he said.
In this regard, he said government was committed to implementing the direction of National Green Tribunal that vehicles over 15 years old should not run in Delhi.
He also said government has taken various measures to contain air pollution in Delhi such as supply of cleaner fuels, use of beneficiated coal in thermal power plants of Delhi and promoting public transport.
Replying to a separate question, Rijiju said government
was not contemplating amending any provision of the Forest Rights Act that requires prior consent of Gram Sabhas before their forests are cleared for industrial activity.
He said in case of a deviation in the Act, it would be taken care of by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, which pilots the Act.
Trashing reports about moves to amend the Act, he said it could be because of "some confusions and perceptions."
Meanwhile, to a query on India's stand on climate change, he said India and other developing nations were of the view that developed countries must fulfill their commitments under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and "India is not deviating from its position."
Under the convention, developed countries were supposed to provide resources to developing countries to enable them to undertake actions for mitigation and adaptation arising out of climate change.