New Delhi:Accusing the Centre as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of being negligent, the Delhi unit of Congress on Monday demanded that an ‘air emergency’ be declared in the national capital and short term measures be taken to mitigate the persisting smog.

“The present situation of air pollution caused by smog reflects the negligence showed by both the Centre and AAP government in Delhi. We demand that the Delhi government immediately declares emergency and adopts short-term measures so that people can breath in cleaner air," Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said. International norms such as those of US Environmental Protection Agency should be in place so that the required measures are taken by the government without waiting for a cabinet meeting to face pollution-related emergencies, he said.

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Attacking AAP government for its “irresponsible attitude", Maken claimed that the short-term measures adopted by it have lacked the “seriousness" to tackle the situation. “The government ordered for closure of Badarpur power plant for 10 days but why did not it take up the issue of gas supply to Bawana gas based plant which is running much below its installed capacity of 1370 MW due to lack of adequate gas supply," he said. He also criticised the government for depleting fleet of DTC buses, adding that “poor" public transport was adding more private vehicles in the already heavy vehicular traffic on the roads. “In 20012-13 when Congress was ruling in Delhi, the DTC had a fleet of 5,445 buses which has come down to 4,461 during the AAP regime," he claimed.

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Maken alleged that the delayed work on phase-III of Delhi Metro due to land acquisition problems faced by DMRC was also adding to the problem as construction on the project also contributed to air pollution in the city. He demanded ban on entry of trucks entering Delhi with construction material, for completely preventing construction works in the wake of heavy pollution. “The government should also close down colleges and public and private establishments to save people from harmful effects of the heavily polluted air in the city," he added

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