Gurgaon authorities unprepared for implementing odd-even scheme
The air quality of Gurgaon has been marked as ‘poor’ since November and the PM2.5 in the city has remained above 300 µg/m³ limit . Hence, the city will have to implement corrective measures to curb pollution.gurgaon Updated: Jan 17, 2017 22:04 IST
The district administration is still in a fix over implementation of the odd-even road rationing scheme in Gurgaon to reduce pollution in the absence of adequate public transportation in the city.
Even as the Centre has directed states with poor air quality to take adequate action against agents contributing to air pollution, the district administration says it is not fully prepared for it.
The Centre issued a notification on Monday for enforcing a graded response plan to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR through Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority (EPCA) under the Environment (Protection) Act.
According to the notification, in cities where the level of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 is above 300 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³) and PM10 levels above 500 (µg/m³) for two consecutive days, emergency measures are to be implemented. These measures include odd-even rationing scheme and a ban on construction activities.
The air quality of Gurgaon has been marked as ‘poor’ since November and the PM2.5 in the city has remained above 300 µg/m³ limit . Hence, the city will have to implement corrective measures to curb pollution.
“The public transport system in Gurgaon is not adequate and implementing the odd-even scheme might create problem for commuters. However, if we get directives from the Centre, we will prepare a plan. To support the plan, we do not have adequate buses and autorickshaws,” said Vivek Kalia, joint commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG).
Although smoke from vehicles contributes to air pollution, with no proper public transportation, implementation of the odd-even scheme will be a premature step, Kalia said.
The Haryana transport department current has as many as 115 low floor buses of which 55 are air conditioned. According to the officials it is falling short to meet the growing demands by 10%.
The city has 20,000 registered autos and 5,000 taxis to cater to the need of the commuters.
However, the transport experts are of opinion that the city requires 50% more buses to provide adequate public transportation.
Dr Sewa Ram, associate professor of transport planning in School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi said, “Gurgaon is expanding and at present, it needs 50% more buses. The newly developing sectors are demanding public transportation. Also, there is a need for more metro stations in other parts of the city.”
Experts at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said there cannot be much improvement in air quality through road rationing unless all NCR cities implement it at the same time.
“Public transport needs to be upgraded in all NCR cities and we can only see any changes if the road rationing exercise is practised on a regular basis in the region,” Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of CSE, said.
According to Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), the impact on air quality even after imposing odd-even scheme cannot be more than 2% in Gurgaon as vehicular pollution is mostly from diesel autorickshaws that are plying in the city. The district administration is unable to take them off roads as the city has fewer options for commuters,” Vijay Chowdhery, environmental engineer, HSPCB, said.