What are states doing to fight bad air?

What are states doing to fight bad air?

Raising concern over the poor air quality in Delhi and its adjoining area, the NCR Planning Board on Tuesday asked its member states Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan -to submit their action plans.

It also asked the state governments to increase forest cover to 20% from the present 3.3% and to start land acquisition for building seven new inter-state roads “immediately”.

The board also noted that the forest cover in the NCR had reduced to 3.30% of the entire geographical area in 2012 from 4.30% in 1999.

The states have also been asked to give an opportunity to worst polluting industries to adopt pollution control measures failing which these must be relocated to specified industrial areas.

“The Board said that while preparing Master Plan and Development Plans and demarcating urbanisable areas, member states should ensure that such industries should be located in the most optimum and strategic manner in suitably planned areas, taking into consideration the future growth directions and economic profiles of settlements, so that adverse environmental impacts can be minimized,” a release issued by urban development ministry said.

Chairing the meeting, Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that the four states should act together to mitigate the suffering of the people being caused by air pollution.

Noting that stubble burning is one of the major reasons for air pollution in the region, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that his government is contemplating to prepare bio-fuel from stubble and his government is already in talks with some companies.Besides, his government will also provide agriculture implements to the farmers on subsidised rates to keep a check on the practice of burning paddy stubble in the state.

Govt may reduce bus fares by 50%.

The Delhi government is mulling reducing fares of DTC and cluster buses (orange) by over 50% to discourage people from using personal vehicles to bring down pollution.

A decision on the issue will be announced by the government in next one or two days. The new fares are expected to come into effect from January, a senior official said. The government’s move comes a few days after Lt governor Najeeb Jung had asked AAP dispensation to work out modalities of reducing fares of both AC and non-AC buses .

However, new fares will be enforced in both Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses, operated by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS).

Last week, Jung had directed the transport department to reduce bus fares across different slabs for the next two months keeping winters in mind. Normally, winter months witness a spurt in pollution.

In Paris, after a spike in pollution, the authorities had recently made public transport free to encourage people to shun private cars, the senior official said, adding, the Delhi government drew inspiration from the move.

[“source-timesofindia”]