The AAP-led Delhi government on Tuesday announced its plan of action to tackle down the severe levels of pollution this winter. Some of these plans include coming down harshly on construction site violations, the revival of the Swachch Delhi-app, re-starting the vacuum cleaning of streets and sprinkling the arterial roads with water to bring down the dust. Although Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia did not speak about any upgradation in public transport like buses. Even the odd-even strategy wasn’t spoken of. Sisodia did not talk about any other emergency step that would be implemented if Delhi’s air quality worsened again.
Sisodia said that that the government is going to vacuum clean the roads. He informed ToI that this practice had been stopped during the monsoons. He made the public aware that the government was facing problems on the procurement of these machines but would start with whatever they have at the moment. One of the officials told ToI that at the moment, only two vacuum cleaners exist and they do not work well on uneven surfaces; which defines most roads in Delhi. In 2010, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had given the vacuum cleaning rights to a private firm but the project had failed to make any progress.
Sisodia informed that certain initiatives were being taken to ensure that the residents of the state could complain against the 61 construction sites of more than 20,000 sq mts in size, all of which are under monitoring by the environment department. He also said that people could always complain about smaller sites via the Swachch Delhi app, which would be re-launched for the purpose. The government is also to penalise officials who do not check the burning of waste is their designated areas.
Sisodia informed that the Delhi government also plans to reduce the pollution from all the cremation houses. The government plans to install chimneys in crematoriums to tap the smoke; a process that would be achieved with the cooperation of the municipal corporations. The AAP government also plans to install mist fountains and air purifiers at 5 major intersections in Delhi. One thing that government missed among all these promises was the announcement of a timeline as to when these activities might start and be fully effective. It also did not speak about the emission of the extremely high number of vehicles on the roads of Delhi. There was no mention of public transport; the odd-even did not even get hinted at.