As the world’s most polluted capital tries to clean up its fetid air, the Delhi government on Friday decided to allow odd and even number vehicles to ply on city roads on alternate days from 1 January. The new rule had social media abuzz all of Friday evening with some criticising the move, and other’s appreciating the ‘bold’, action.
The odd/even number scheme, similar to the one in Beijing and Singapore, allows vehicles with number plates ending with an odd number to be driven one day while those ending with an even number the next day. This means that a motorist will able to drive on Delhi roads only for 15 days a month.
But apart from the odd-even formula, the Delhi government has also decided to improve public transport in the city, shut down a coal-fired power station and start vacuuming the roads to reduce dust. It also wants to start mechanised cleaning of some streets.
Here’s a list of measures being adopted or considered by the AAP government to curb air pollution:
Trucks will be allowed only from 10.30 pm instead of 9 pm
The movement of trucks in Delhi will be allowed from 10.30 pm or 11 pm instead of 9pm. The 9 pm entry of trucks in the national capital slows down traffic which in turn escalates pollution.
Pollution checking by transport department:
Mobile enforcement teams are being deployed for crackdown on vehicles triggering pollution and vehicles not having PUC Certificates. The transport department will also conduct rigorous checks to ensure that trucks entering Delhi have valid pollution certificates.
Advance implementation of Euro VI norms
The cut-off date for implementation of Euro-VI emission norms for India has been fixed at January 1, 2019. Delhi government has decided to advance it to January 1, 2017.
Crowd-source pollution related complaints
The government officials will crowd-source complaints related to polluting vehicles and burning of bio-mass, garbage, leaves, etc. Swachh Bharat mobile app will also allow Delhi residents to post complaints. The Delhi government’s anti-corruption app will also be modified so that citizens can click pictures of pollution norms being flouted. The photos then will be sent to the government authorities.
Vaccum-cleaning of roads
Since a lot of the pollution comes from dust, the PWD has decided to start vaccum-cleaning roads from 1 April 2016. Equipment needs to be procured, following which agencies will be identified and handed over the contract to conduct the same.
“Greening project” on kutcha roads
Extensive horticulture works shall be undertaken by the PWD from January 1, 2016 with the objective to ensure that open areas prone to generating dust are greened and do not contribute to the dust.
Shutting down of Badarpur and Rajghat thermal plants
Environment department will consider issuing orders to close the Badarpur and Rajghat thermal power plants, which are blamed for contributing to air pollution. Another suspect is a thermal plant at Dadri, Uttar Pradesh. The Delhi government will also move an application in National Green Tribunal for closure of the plant.
Public awareness campaigns
Public awareness campaigns are conducted to raise social consciousness on the issue and educate motorists about health hazards, statutory provisions and control measures as well as engine tuning and maintenance.
MCD parkings closed down
MCD parkings on PWD roads of Delhi, which are creating chaos on roads will be closed down. The department has been directed to take effective steps to implement these decisions at the earliest.
The Delhi government has already launched monthly car-free days in some areas. They have also levied a “green” tax to encourage the 52,000 commercial vehicles that enter the city daily to take alternative routes.