Delhi government will consult people on the Odd-Even scheme and take into account the experiences of the first two phases before announcing the next round of the traffic rationing measure, PWD Minister Satyendar Jain said today.
He said the city government has undertaken a series of measures to curb pollution, both from vehicles and dust, which include marking of dedicated bus lanes and vacuum cleaning of roads under the Delhi government.
The Minister said they have also sent a proposal to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung for imposing a fine of Rs 2,000 on those who violate the bus lanes. He said Jung has raised some objections on this, which will be addressed.
Jain also lashed out at those who claimed that pollution had increased during Odd-Even scheme period.
“If the diesel and pollution consumption has gone down by 30 per cent, how can the pollution rise?…To fail Odd-Even, some people say that pollution has increased due to it. This is wrong. Our government is new and we don’t have any baggage. We can even fail and we are ready to take failures.
“Many big people are not ready to take failure. We are starters, so we don’t have any issues in learning. And if we have to do it again then we will ask you, learn from past experiences and we will do it only then,” Jain said.
He was speaking at a conference organised by United Residents Joint Action of Delhi (URJA), where a ‘Delhi Clean Air Forum’ campaign was launched.
The minister said that the government has been successful in bringing the issue of pollution to the “centre-stage”.
Jain said there are roads measuring 1,260 kms under the Delhi government and it has started the initiative of using vacuum cleaners to clean them in order to avoid pollution due to dust. But it will take two more months for the project to start on full scale, he said.
He added that the PWD is also planning to cover the soil around these roads with grass in order to curb pollution from dust particles.
“…Because 50 per cent of pollution is because of dust and the rest 50 per cent by vehicular pollution. We will be vacuum cleaning the dust,” he said.
The Minister said encroachments are proving to be a hindrance in marking dedicated bus lanes.
“The width of Delhi roads is not less, but they have been encroached upon. People talk about hawkers occupying roads, but they don’t see those who have encroached on land worth crores of rupees.
“These are big people with big networks. But we will do it (clear the hindrance). If buses start plying in left lanes …pollution will decrease substantially,” Jain said, adding that vehicular traffic was one of the reasons for ailments like stress and hyper-tension, both leading to diabetes.
Jain, who is also the Power Minister said, the government has also taken steps to curb pollution coming from power companies.
“The Rajghat (coal based) power plant has already been shut. Of the five units of the Badarapur power plant, three have been shut. We have also written to Uttar Pradesh government about Dadri power plant,” the minister said.