Delhi government, in an important meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced an action plan for controlling air pollution in the national capital.
The meeting, which was attended by all ministers, senior officials and the Delhi Dialogue Commission to formulate a new policy, took a series of far reaching decisions one of which is a new initiative to allow plying of vehicles with odd-even numbers on alternate days.
This means that vehicles with even numbers will be allowed to ply on one day and those with odd numbers on the following day. And thus the cycle will go on.
The scheme would be launched on 1 January 2016 and those not adhering to the new regulations would have to pay heavy penalty, to be imposed by the enforcing agencies.
The AAP government would soon launch a “massive campaign” to make people aware of the upcoming scheme.
The scheme will not apply to CNG-driven buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws, but it will cover vehicles entering Delhi from other state.
This scheme has been in use several countries including the Greek capital, Athens, where the initiative did not yield the desirable result after people began to purchase two cars with both odd and even registration numbers.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Kejriwal and heads of departments of the government at the Secretariat on Friday.
On Thursday, expressing its concern on the rising pollution in the capital, Delhi High Court had likened the city to a ‘gas chamber.’
Recently, the government had initiated another move to check pollution by which trucks entering Delhi now have to pay a fee.
The Delhi government will also launch a web-based mobile App that people can use to report about polluting vehicles in the national capital.
In another related move, the Delhi government has decided to close down south Delhi’s Badarpur power plant, one of the coal-based plants of the NTPC.
This scheme comes on the heels of another AAP initiative called ‘Car Free Day’, under which people were encouraged to use cycle ahead of cars.
So far, the ‘Car Free Day’ have been implemented in October and November, in certain areas of Delhi.
On both those days, Kejriwal himself led the charge by cycling to a certain distance. The next ‘Car Free Day’ will be held on 22 December in a different area of the city. And on 22 January, the entire Delhi will observe ‘Car Free Day’.
Here are ten points of the new initiative you must know:
- Consider permitting the plying of only odd/even number of vehicles on alternate days in Delhi from 1 January, 2016. (Emergency services like ambulances etc., will be kept out of this). The modalities to formulate the scheme will be worked out on war footing by Principal Secretary (Transport) together with Secretary (Environment) / Secretary (Revenue). Traffic Police will also be brought on board.
- The fleet of Delhi Transport Corporation will be augmented by Transport Department/DTC on the days restrictions are imposed for plying of even/odd number vehicles on Delhi roads.
- Large number of school buses operate for a limited period of the day. Transport Department/DTC to consider hiring these and similar buses for meeting additional public transport needs.
- The DTC to also operate their buses at higher frequency and for a longer period of time in a day. A request will go to Delhi Metro for extending the timing of its operations in the late evening.
- Public Works Department will expedite proposals already under consideration in the department for vacuum cleaning of the dust from the roads in Delhi. The agencies are to be appropriately identified and target date for starting vacuum cleaning of the dust from roads will be 1 April 2016.
- Since dust arises also from kuccha (muddy) parts of the road berms, central verges and open spaces falling within the right of way of the roads, extensive horticulture works will be undertaken by the PWD w.e.f. 1.1.2016 to ensure that open areas prone to generating dust are greened and do not contribute to the dust.
- Environment Department/DPCC will consider issuing orders to close the Badarpur and Rajghat Thermal Power Plants, which are contributing in a major way to the air pollution in Delhi.
- Air pollution in Delhi has also been attributed to the Thermal Power Plant at Dadri, Uttar Pradesh. Delhi government will move an application in National Green Tribunal for closure of the Dadri Thermal Plant.
- Goods trucks start moving on Delhi roads from 9.00 PM onwards while active traffic continues well beyond 9.00 PM. Transport Department, with the help of Traffic Police will finalise proposal to allow movement of trucks in Delhi only from 10.00/11.00 PM instead of 9.00 PM.
- A large number of outside trucks that enter Delhi are found to be polluting the air as they do not meet GNCTD’s ‘Pollution Under Control’ norms. Transport Department will make arrangements for checking such vehicles and imposing fines on polluters.
- Delhi government to crowd-source complaints (i) relating to visibly polluting vehicles and (ii) of burning of bio-mass, garbage, leaves, etc. using IT technology. The UD Department will modify its recently launched Swachh Bharat App. so that these complaints can be received from the public and are forwarded for action by the concerned authorities.
- The cut-off date for implementation of Euro-VI emission norms for India has been fixed at 1 January 2019. Delhi government has decided to pre-pone it to 1st Jan 2017. Delhi government will make all efforts to meet this new self-imposed deadline.
- Those MCD parkings on PWD roads of Delhi, creating chaos on roads will be closed down. The department has been directed to take effective steps to implement these decisions at the earliest.