Delhi’s pollution troubles are “far from over”, a green body today said as its analysis showed that the number of vehicles entering the national capital from other states every day is close to the total number of vehicles that get registered in the city annually.
A real time cross-border traffic survey by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said that personal and passenger vehicles from outside account for 22 per cent of the total particulate load which is not only undercutting pollution control efforts in Delhi but also making enormous demand for land for parking facilities.
Noting that while cutting down on truck pollution is a good step, but not enough for the city as it is a “pollution highway” for cars, CSE said diesel fuel use is still high in Delhi as the total number of diesel cars, taxis and SUVs entering the national capital daily are also 2.5 times the diesel vehicles registered in Delhi during 2014-15.
CSE claimed that instead of scaling up public transport connectivity in the NCR aggressively, both the Centre and state governments are planning to turn city roads into highways and elevated corridors to induce more personal vehicle travel through Delhi.
“Delhi’s battle against pollution, congestion and energy guzzling can get increasingly more difficult if its own explosive motorisation gets further aggravated by the huge daily influx of vehicles from outside. An equal numbers of vehicles are going out of Delhi daily contributing to pollution in the NCR towns as well.
“This new analysis reconfirms that ineffective public policy on public transport connectivity is increasing dependence on personal vehicles, leading to enormous pollution and ill-health in Delhi-NCR,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE’s head of sustainable urbanisation programme.
The CSE survey at nine entry points shows that around 3.07 lakh cars and 1.27 lakh two-wheelers enter Delhi daily.
If this is taken as the 70 per cent of the total traffic from all 124 entry points, then the total number of cars, SUVs and two-wheelers from all entry points can be as much as 5.65 lakh.
The Economic Survey of Delhi for the year 2014-15 shows 5.69 lakh total vehicles were registered that year in the city and thus, the total number of vehicles that enter Delhi daily is almost equal to the number that is registered in the city,” CSE said.
It also said that toxic fumes from local and incoming vehicles is also contributing to growing risk of cancer in the city as the National Cancer Registry Programme Report of 2012-14 shows incidence of cancers is highest in Delhi among the major Indian cities.
CSE said that lung cancer incidents have increased by over 33.3 per cent since the middle of last decade here.