Be ready to pay more for parking your vehicle; govt mulling hike in charges to control pollution
New Delhi: Troubled by increasing amount of air pollution and particulate matter in the air, the Delhi Government is charting a 5-year plan to reduce the pollution. The cabinet is likely to discuss hike in parking rates, raising vehicle standards and cracking down on open fires, among other steps to bring down the pollution in the national capital.
The alarming pollution levels have blackened Delhi's air to such an extent that it ranks alongside coal town Jharia and unregulated industrial hubs like Ludhiana, Raipur and Kanpur.
Trucks, according to the findings, contribute about 65 per cent of the total particulate matter (PM) concentration in Delhi's air. The lack of any effective regulation on trucks entering the city after 10 pm has led to the current situation. Despite a Supreme Court directive to keep the trucks out of city limits, the enforcement remains poor. As a result, the pollution level in Delhi today is as bad as it was in the pre-CNG days, exposing residents to serious health problems such as respiratory and pulmonary diseases.
The permissible limit for particulate matter in the city is 150 mg/Nm3 but is measured as high as 400 on some days.
Compared to 2002, when 792 lakh vehicle km were travelled on city roads, the figures jumped by almost double to 1,506 lakh vehicle km in 2009- 10, eventually leading to alarming levels of emissions by vehicles caught at the intersections and in the usual snarls during peak rush hours on all busy Delhi corridors. In fact, the flyovers constructed to add speed to the vehicles only added more pollutants through emissions at the end where other vehicles converge.
"The plan will come for Cabinet approval any day now," Additional Secretary, Department of Environment, Sandeep Mishra said.
The 5-year plan includes suggestions such as a more integrated and regulated cycling network, building more air monitoring stations, closing one of two coal power plants in city limits, improving fuel quality and controlling dust from construction sites.
The alarming pollution levels have blackened Delhi\'s air to such an extent that it ranks alongside coal town Jharia and unregulated industrial hubs like Ludhiana, Raipur and Kanpur.