Costlier diesel, stringent PUC compliance and higher taxes on older vehicles are some methods to reduce air pollution in Delhi
Delhi needs stringent action to bring winter pollution under check. CSE has recommended certain short- and medium-term measures to enable the city to meet clean air standards in a time-bound manner. These include the following:
- » Implement Air Quality Index with health advisories and pollution emergency measures in place.
- » Leapfrog emissions standards to Bharat Stage V in 2017. Bharat Stage VI should be enforced by 2020 and nation-wide Bharat Stage IV implementation must be expedited.
- » Control dieselisation with tax measures. Urban diesel fuel used by cars and SUVs must be priced higher than petrol and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
- » Tighten Pollution Under Control (PUC) testing method and compliance. Deploy more advanced in-use monitoring strategies and integrate on-board diagnostic system for in-use inspection. Introduce remote sensing technology for screening on-road vehicles among others. Make PUC certificate a conditional requirement for obtaining annual insurance for vehicles. Subject private vehicles to road worthiness tests.
- » Divert non-destined trucks and check overloading. Implement pollution tax and utilise the collected funds to scale up public transport and freight connectivity with a healthy balance between rail and road transport.
- » Take stringent action against visibly polluting vehicles based on spot checks and on-road surveillance, high penalty and instant removal from road in the city as well as along the borders.
- » Implement cleaner emissions standards for new vehicles that will replace older vehicles. Formal scrappage policy must ensure infrastructure to scrap old vehicles and at least 95 per cent of scrapped material must be recycled.
- » Implement end of life regulations/recycle policy for vehicle manufacturers to ensure that more than 90 per cent of the material used in cars is recyclable.
- » Implement colour coding of old vehicles of pre-Bharat Stage I, Bharat Stage I and Bharat Stage II vintage and restrict them from plying during smog episodes.
- » Impose higher taxes on older vehicles of Bharat Stage I and Bharat Stage II vehicles.
- » Improve and scale up public transport and last mile connectivity. Bring all the 11,000 buses within a year, ensure reliable and frequent services, Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled public information system; multi-modal integration for metro and bus and last mile connectivity.
- » Implement non-motorised network plan for time-bound implementation. Mandate people- and cycling-friendly street design guidelines and standards for all roads. These should be made mandatory for approval of road network projects in Delhi. Protect walkways and cycle tracks from encroachment and ensure safe crossing. Implement the provision of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, that bars vehicles from being parked on pavements.
- » Restrain growth of cars with parking restraints and taxes. Eliminate free parking. Introduce effectively high and variable parking charges and introduce residential parking permits with fee. Ban parking on footpaths under the provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Implement parking management area plans to plan and implement legal parking, ban and penalise illegal parking and rationalise on-street and off-street parking. Prohibit parking in green areas and in neighbourhood parks.
- » Expand real-time air quality monitoring in the NCR and implement daily real-time data reporting. Implement priority action for power plants, open burning, generator sets and construction.
- » Stop farm fires in the NCR and neighbouring states. Make paddy straw burning an offence in the region. Ensure stringent enforcement under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 to ban farm fires. This needs be enabled with incentive and subsidy for innovative farming methods that allow mixing of the straw with the soil to act as fertilizer and avoid stubble burning. Promote alternative uses of paddy straw for power generation.
- » Implement seamless public transport system in the NCR. Implement NCR-wide seamless bus system and para-transit system and remove tolls and tax barriers across borders for public transport within a year under reciprocal agreement. Implement plan for improved rail network. Set up urban transport fund by tapping the revenue sources.
- » Innovate and leapfrog air quality monitoring. Exposure monitoring based on new emerging low cost but advanced sensor-based monitoring equipments can become a game changer in air quality monitoring globally.
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