Delhi-Meerut, Eastern Peripheral Expressways: The twin projects happen to be one of India’s most ambitious road network initiatives in recent times. Delhi-Meerut Expressway is expected to cut down the travel time between the two cities to 60 minutes.
That 14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world are in India points to a public health emergency.
The enforcement wing of the Transport Department carries out regular checks of pollution standards of the buses coming to Delhi from neighbouring states. Buses not having valid PUC certificates are challaned, the minister said.
The bench said it will consider all the reports during further hearing of the matter on April 2
On January 25, the ministry notified an amendment to the environment protection rules making it mandatory for all projects that require clearance to implement dust mitigation measures.
The annual prescribed standard of the highly volatile compound — mainly a product of vehicle exhaust, fuel vapour and burning of wood — is 5 µg/m3, as per the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), 2009.
The improvement has been attributed to the action taken on the ground to control pollution. EPCA also decided to lift the very poor to severe air quality restriction under the Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi-NCR.
The 15-day ‘Clean Air for Delhi’ awareness campaign will see 70 teams of five members each fan out into every Assembly constituency. The teams will monitor sources of pollution and penalise polluters.
Though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not spell out specifics of the scheme in the Union Budget 2018, official sources said the Centre was likely to offer a 50% subsidy on equipment required to be installed.
Repeated attempts have been made to encourage farmers to switch to non-polluting technology that can help manage paddy stubble, however, it is a cost that is impossible for small farmers to take on without state support.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the fall in the levels of PM has also got to do with the fact that the AAP government, “unlike its neighbouring counterparts”, sincerely enforced measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
The affidavit stated that the “air quality did worsen during Diwali and symptoms of… increased coughing, relatively more hospital visits, increased noise levels and high metal levels in urine do reflect adverse impact of firecracker bursting”.
A senior Bureaucrat said the city needs around 11,000 buses as against the existing fleet which is barely 5,000. In this context, scrapping the BRT corridor was akin to “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”.
The 2017 also saw the ruling AAP change its strategy of directly attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi after multiple poll reverses and instead focused its charge on the BJP as a whole.
EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal has asked Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan to intensify ground-level action to tackle the severely polluted air.