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IASbaba Big Picture RSTV Analysis- Pollution in Metros: Practical options on Pollution

  • IASbaba
  • December 10, 2015
  • 6
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis, Rajya Sabha-Big Picture
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With the backlash from Delhi High Court stating Delhi as “Gas Chamber”, Delhi Government has now came up with number of steps to control pollution menace —

  • Starting “Odd-Even Formula”, by which on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only Odd number cars can be driven, and on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday only even number cars will be driven. Sunday will be kept free from this restriction.
  • Closing Badarpur Power Plant.
  • Increasing number of DTC buses on road and requested DMRC to increase the frequency of metro.
  • 200 Pollution Sample centres will be set up to check on the pollution.

 

Why such radical steps are taken?

  • PM 2.5, PM 10 and other pollutants are at extremely dangerous level.
  • Children going to school are at great risk because of pollutants settle at low altitude during morning.
  • Health of people in Delhi is being compromised.
  • Pregnant women are most vulnerable.
  • In next 10 years, highest number of death because of pollution will happen in Delhi.
  • Delhi alone has ~1 crore vehicles. Though cars/km is low in Delhi and highest in Chennai.
  • Increasing encroachment of road because of lack of parking.
  • Increasing road rash cases.

 

Criticism —

  • Without strong public transport system this formula will create only chaos.
  • Traffic Police is under-strength and will not be able to cope up with this step.
  • Questions are being raised on emergency cases like medical emergency.
  • There is increasing number of crimes against women and children in capital region, so such step will make them vulnerable.
  • People will not be able to reach office on time because of lack of buses.
  • Many people see this step taken in haste without any scientific study or consultation with Police Department. Without support from Traffic police and Public this scheme will never succeed.
  • Odd/Even Formula has been a success in many cities like San Diego, Beijing, and New Mexico City etc. But it has been a failure in many also.
  • Many people are criticising attitude of government which is saying that it is in only experimental. Experimental attitude will not make it success. Moreover, there are other alternatives also and this odd/even formula will not correct the condition alone.
  • Metro and Buses will be over-crowded because of this step.

 

Way forward —

It’s a high a time for people of all major cities and such radical steps are need of time. Various other steps should be considered with the odd/even formula —

  • Government should consider other steps also like Singapore Model in which if one wants to buy a new car, he/she need to first dump his/her old car. Other steps taken in various countries are —
    • Providing cycle lane,
    • Restrict some roads on weekends for private vehicles,
    • Making driving boring by keeping speed limit at 25 kmph,
    • Implementation of bicycle-sharing system.
    • Restricting sale of diesel vehicles especially SUVs only to taxis and public transport.
  • Increasing the speed of construction of metro tracks to lower the burden on DTC and avoid over-crowding of metro.
  • Increasing the number of buses and keeping them well maintained.
  • Major problem with Delhi is large number of vehicles + encroachment of road by parked cars lead to slow moving traffic. This leads to increase in pollution. Therefore, strict actions should be taken on illegal parking and more multi-storey parking should be built.
  • Strict implementation of rules by Police and Government on traffic rules, burning of trash, dumping of debris by builders and pollution check of vehicles, industries and small factories.
  • Encouraging Car-Pooling and free them from restriction of Odd/Even Formula. Women should be exempted from this scheme citing there security reason.
  • Increase the awareness among people over increasing pollution.
  • Solar Panel should be placed on all government buildings and public should be encouraged for placing solar panel over their house roof.
  • Strict check on burning of residues by farmers in neighbouring states.
  • Till the situation is under control, timing of school must be delayed.
  • Setting up of AQI system in all the major urban settlements.

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