iconimg Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 24, 2013
If implemented, the Delhi government’s five-year action plan to improve the city’s air quality will help reduce car usage and solve much of the city’s parking problem. Pending for a while, it’s now on hold in view of the assembly elections slated for November. “The plan proposes strict measures against violators, a hike in parking rates and other similar measures. Some ministers feel the government should not take the risk (of implementing the plan) when water and power tariff have already become major political issues,” said a senior Delhi government official.

The plan proposes “extra and highly enhanced fees” on the sale of properties along metro and bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors, while allowing property taxes to remain the same.

This is to reduce gentrification — buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper/middle-income families or individuals. This helps improve property values but often displaces low-income families and small businesses.

Simply put, the move will help retain potential public transport users.

The plan also proposes an increase in road tax for personal vehicles. If the plan is implemented, it will make sure the benefits of your car’s insurance cover are linked to the vehicle’s emissions.

The authorities have also decided to review the emission norms for two and three-wheelers that contribute hugely to pollution.

According to the action plan, the government quickly needs to introduce more advanced and alternative vehicle technologies and fuels.

The government plans battery-operated vehicles as feeders for last-mile connectivity.

“Already, four gas analysers, lambda monitoring for petrol cars and improved smoke test for diesel cars have been introduced. But this programme needs quality control, authentic tests and regular audit of emission testing centres,” he said.

The government will set up better emission testing centres and overhaul the commercial vehicle testing centre at Burari.