A day after the Environment Pollution (Protection and Control) Authority (EPCA) wrote to the Delhi government chief secretary, suggesting that only CNG cars be allowed to ply on Delhi-NCR roads on severely polluted days, officials in the Delhi government said the idea was not viable with the current state of public transport in the capital.
Environment Minister Imran Hussain, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that he was studying EPCA’s suggestion and checking how viable it is. Delhi’s air quality over the past week has oscillated between the severe and very poor categories. While the air quality was very poor on Monday, it slipped to severe on Tuesday.
“EPCA believes that in the scenario that weather remains adverse and that the current situation of air quality remains in the same category or deteriorates, there is no other option but to direct for a complete stop on the use of private and commercial vehicles other than those plying on CNG, so that pollution levels can be contained,” the EPCA chairperson wrote in the letter.
There are close to 8,00,000 CNG vehicles registered in the capital. The total number of registered vehicles in Delhi is around 10 million. According to several estimates, Delhi needs close to 11,000 buses. At the moment, only about 5,500 ply on the capital’s roads.