ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Green Infrastructure


The article “Ambient Air Pollution from Urban Transport in India” by Michael Eric Lytton, Robert W Collin and Rajesh Kumar Rai (EPW, 8 October 2016) is comprehensive analysis of a wide range of issues regarding the impact of ambient air pollution on human health and its cost to the economy. At the same time, it also emphasises the necessity
of having municipal and inter-sectoral cooperation, the establishment of an air quality information system and data mapping of pollution sources.

The Supreme Court asked the Delhi government to distribute masks to Delhi traffic police personnel, ban diesel cars and vehicles above 200CC, ban the registration of SUVs, hike the green cess on commercial vehicles entering Delhi and ensure that taxis are run only on CNG. The Delhi government introduced the odd–even rule, and imposed heavy penalties on some projects for causing pollution. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) also directed the Delhi authorities to implement the existing ban order on burning of waste, impose fines on construction dust, ask neighbouring states to ban the burning of crop residue, and directed the state government not to allow diesel-operated vehicles for its personnel. The above measures could also be implemented in other polluted cities to curb air pollution. In addition, the central government has given the call for the Swachh Bharat programme and has been talking of smart cities. However, it is quite difficult to ascertain the nature of change in terms of the social and behavioural practices of people, administrative accountability and the political will to combat air pollution in Delhi. Almost a year after the call to curb air pollution, the NGT once again handed out an ultimatum to Delhi’s neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to install CNG stations in the National Capital Region of Delhi. It says 50% of air pollution in Delhi is due to the origination of particulate matter from these states.

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