Growing air pollution level in the city was the top agenda of the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) meeting on Tuesday as it reviewed measures being taken by the four member states and Punjab to address the issue and asked them to submit detailed action plans.
Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan were asked to increase forest and tree cover — “through conservation of the Aravalli range” in NCR — to 20 per cent of total geographical area. Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain said he proposed setting up of a special purpose vehicle to clean up the Yamuna river.
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“We have proposed setting up of an SPV, along the lines of Delhi Metro, to help clean the Yamuna. The Delhi government and the Centre can be stakeholders in the project, just like they are 50-50 partners in Delhi Metro,” Jain said.
“IIT Kanpur has recommended that power plants within 300 km of the capital be shut down. They have also backed vacuum cleaning of dust from city roads,” Jain said.
Also discussed during the meeting was stopping the use of coal in 9,000 hotels and restaurants in Delhi; LPG for all; and, vertical covering of construction areas.
He said that the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme will come into effect only after the government has had sufficient time to create awareness about it.
“We can’t just wake up one morning and say that odd-even will be effective from today. We have to sensitise people before that,” said Jain.