K T S Tulsi, 68, came to Parliament on a bicycle Wednesday, amid a debate on the Delhi government’s steps to regulate cars to bring down pollution. The nominated Rajya Sabha MP, who is a Supreme Court advocate, shares his views on pollution.
Why did you bicycle to Parliament?
Delhi is being called the most polluted city in the world. I don’t want to leave that heritage for my children and grandchildren. If there is no future for children in the city, we are all responsible for having killed the city. Even I have saved 4 carbon points, I would like to do it. I wanted to participate in the clean-up effort in whatever way I can.
How do you see the Delhi government’s odd-even formula to regulate the number of cars on road?
Any proposal that will reduce pollution even by 1 per cent, even 0.1 per cent, I am supporting that. All kinds of inconveniences must be borne; it is a question of life and death… It has to be made workable. Citizens must realise the gravity of the situation. A person my age has decided to ride a bicycle and brave the dangers — cyclists are very vulnerable. It is the duty of all of us to do it.
How did your colleagues react? Is it true you had difficulty getting permission to bring the bicycle into the complex.
My colleagues were very appreciative. I hope many of them will come to Parliament on a bicycle… The question was about logistics. Where can we park without causing inconvenience? The security personnel have to let me in because the system is tuned only for automobiles — that time, nobody contemplated that MPs would come walking or on a bicycle. So if I land up on a bicycle one fine morning, the security system will go into danger mode. I have asked the secretariat a number of times… I raised the issue in the House. I am also going to the write to the Chief Justice of India to ask Supreme Court security to let me in on a bicycle.
Do you have any suggestions for bringing down pollution in Delhi?
The number of vehicles on road has to be curtailed. Sale of cars has to be brought down. For that the road tax has to be increased, made equal to the price of the car. And that extra income should be invested in augmenting public transport that is environment-friendly… in improving quality of fuel.