According to an analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), emissions from the 13.2 million vehicles on Delhi roads is the largest internal contributor to Delhi’s PM 2.5 air pollution. The contribution of vehicles was found to be about 50-53% during the study period (24th Oct to 8th Nov 2021).
The AAP Delhi government has taken several stringent steps in the last few years to reduce vehicular pollution.
- AAP notified the most progressive Electric Vehicle Policy in India in August 2020. (See Transport Sector for more details)
- Environment Compensation Charge (Congestion Charge) is imposed on trucks to limit highly polluting vehicles entering the city
- The switchover to BS-VI fuel is mandatory from 2019.
- Delhi is to be the 1st state in India, that will issue a notification that mandates purchase of EVs for all aggregators/delivery service providers. Min 50% of all new vehicles purchased by 31 Mar 2023 will be EVs. (See Transport for more details.)
- Delhi govt signed a MoU with Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) on 19 Jan 2022 to become the 1st state govt to introduce easy financing with 5% interest subvention scheme for purchase of electric 3 wheelers. This effectively doubles Delhi govt subsidy on e3Ws from Rs 30,000 to Rs 55,000. (See Transport for more details.)
Massive Public Outreach Campaigns
- Odd-Even Policy , a car rationing system, used for the first time in India by Arvind Kejriwal in 2016 for vehicles, is implemented most winters, which is the peak period of crop stubble burning giving rise to very bad air quality.
- With the aim of reducing vehicular pollution by 10-15%, the Delhi Government launched the “Red Light on, Engine off” campaign on 21st October 2020 and extended it to 30th November 2020. Nearly 2,500 civil-defence volunteers urged drivers to turn off their ignition across 100 traffic signals where the waiting time exceeded 2 minutes. Environment-marshals handed roses to drivers and carried placards to create awareness.
This campaign was run again in the winter of 2021-2022.
- Raahgiri Campaign: Jointly organised by DDC and Raahgiri Foundation, an NGO, the Raahgiri movement aims to promote pedestrian rights and walking culture for safer and more inclusive streets. DDC used this as part of its anti-pollution campaign and several events were held in various parts of Delhi. Streets of the area were cordoned off and closed to traffic to allow residents to indulge in recreational activities like cycling, skating, skateboarding and even for practising yoga, zumba or even playing chess and music. The first Raahgiri campaign in Delhi was held in Patparganj on 14 Nov 2021 while the 2nd was held in Najafgarh on 27 Nov 2021, the 3rd in December 2021 at CR Park Road and the 4th on March 7 at Burari. An anti-pollution pledge was also taken by the residents and students at Burari. These events promoted health, fitness and togetherness and were appreciated by all residents of the area.
“Pollution affects us all and should be a bipartisan issue that brings everyone together. Initiatives like ‘Raahgiri Day’ provide the much-needed occasion for rallying efforts of the community around their common concerns. As local stakeholders get to physically interact with each other on ‘Raahgiri Day’, they get the opportunity to recognise their collective interests and strategise optimal ways to curb their share of pollution.” – AAP’s Burari MLA Sanjeev Jha
<Source: Indian Express>
Raahgiri Day – bringing together a neighbourhood
Measures taken by the Transport Department
- Improving public transport uptake by enhancing the services.
- Reliable last-mile connectivity with bus access within 500 m of every household in Delhi at max 15 min frequency
- 1000 more private CNG buses hired to reduce pollution in winter.
- Zero-emission public transport:
- 23rd Sep 2021: Delhi has suggested to Centre that neighbouring states shift public transport vehicles in National Capital Region (NCR) to CNG – Shift public transport vehicles in NCR to CNG: Delhi to neighbouring states