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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

5-year draft plan looks to push public transport

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 09, 2012
First Published: 00:26 IST(9/11/2012) | Last Updated: 01:33 IST(9/11/2012)

The Delhi government is exploring the possibility of reducing the number of personal vehicles and imposing congestion charges, besides improving monitoring and enforcement to bring down pollution levels in the Capital.

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The government and the Centre for Science and Environment have prepared a 10-point draft action plan to meet the desired air quality in the Capital by 2017.

Officials of various departments will on Friday discuss ways to finalise the 20-page draft and ensure its speedy implementation.

The situation in Delhi has worsened in recent days as an unprecedented spell of haze continues to trouble residents.

“The plan involves various departments and we need to take them on board. There can be some changes. It’s a multi-department plan and has issues of practicality and feasibility,” said a senior government official. Officials have also fixed deadlines. Some measures have to be taken immediately, while dates have been decided for execution of other plans.

“We need to assess upgrades that are required and implement them. We want expanded particulate matter (of less than 2.5 micron) and ozone monitoring. There can be more monitoring sites and even mobile monitoring. We need to develop an air quality index along with a health advisory for a daily information system,” said a CSE expert.

More than 55% of Delhi’s population lives within the influence zone of roads. Delhi is witnessing explosive motorisation. This negates the incremental improvement in emissions levels.

“We need to expand non-motorised transport to reduce automobile dependence and, subsequently, pollution. We also need to scale up public transport,” he said.

The expert also highlighted the need to reduce bus fares and use of personal vehicles.

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