Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, requesting him to amend the Air Act 1981 and come up with a five-year national action plan to ensure clean air as the pollution levels in the city rose to the ''severe'' category.
Mr Satyarthi, on the occasion of Children's Day, was to participate in an event, which was cancelled due to alarming levels of pollution in the national capital.
In the letter, the Nobel laureate wrote, "Standing with you, I call upon the Honourable Prime Minister of India, to demonstrate his visionary leadership by amending the Air Act 1981 and come up with a five-year national action plan to ensure clear air."
He further said that there is a need to "clean up our intentions and actions".
"All of us, the policy makers, businesses, consumers, common people have to step up to take urgent and drastic steps to ensure that air, water and land remain clean and sustainable for the future," Mr Satyarthi said.
"We need new action. We must build a comprehensive accountable and binding strategy to tackle the pollution that claims lives. We need genuine and collective commitment from all parts of government, politicians, industry and society to create a stronger and coherent framework for action to tackle air pollution, as well as water and land contamination," he added.
He said that we need this strategy to be backed with clear, time-bound and strict enforcement mechanisms.
"This will come at a cost. We must be ready for some sacrifice in our comfort and growth, for life to sustain," Mr Satyarthi added.
Air quality in the nation capital remained in the ''severe'' category on Thursday as the Delhi-NCR region continued to be shrouded by a thick layer of toxic smog.
Schools in the Delhi-NCR region remained closed as per the direction of authorities on Wednesday night. The closure of schools was recommended by the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) citing hazardous air quality.