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Delhi pollution: Parking fee hike rolled back, ban on entry of trucks removed

EPCA withdrew some of the emergency measures as air quality remained out of the severe category for the second day in Delhi.

delhi Updated: Nov 16, 2017 23:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi pollution,Delhi air quality,Delhi smog
Measures enforced under the GRAP’s ‘severe’ category including the closure of the Badarpur thermal power plant, ban on brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers will remain, the EPCA said.(Ravi Choudhary / HT Photo)

New Delhi: The four-fold hike in parking rates, which was in place for the past week, was rolled back on Thursday and the ban on entry of trucks lifted after the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Control and Prevention) Authority (EPCA) said that pollution levels in Delhi had “stabilised” over the past two days.

However, a decision on lifting the ban on construction activities is yet to be taken as a hearing on it is scheduled in the National Green Tribunal on Friday.

Concurring with the EPCA’s announcement, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal gave his approval for withdrawal of the two pollution control measures. Accordingly, the municipal corporations and the Delhi Metro issued notifications to contractors to revert to the old parking rates where cars will be charged ₹20 per hour and two-wheelers ₹10. The transport department also issued an order opening the gates for entry of trucks from Thursday.

The move came as the city’s air quality showed signs of improvement after staying in “severe” category for a week. For the last two days, Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) has been in “very poor” category with a decline of over 150 points in the pollution indicator.

EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal wrote to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana on Thursday morning, directing them that the measures be lifted with “immediate effect” as the prevailing air quality does not warrant such tough action.

However, measures enforced under the GRAP’s “severe” category including the closure of the Badarpur thermal power plant, ban on brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers would remain, the EPCA said.

In its letter to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, the green panel lifted the measure citing “problems” in its effective enforcement, which instead led to parking on the roads, adding to traffic congestion.

“EPCA believes this is because of lack of enforcement and that enhancement of parking fee is an important car restraint measure. However, this measure has been made ineffective because of the lack of public transport and partly because of poor enforcement of illegal and unauthorised parking,” Bhure Lal wrote.

According to the ECPA, the roll-back decision will not be changed unless there is a dramatic increase in pollution levels, similar to what the city witnessed on November 6, when air quality worsened by the minute and, by November 7, Delhi air was in severe levels.

First Published: Nov 16, 2017 11:51 IST