Delhi pollution: 4x parking fee hike order cancelled, ban on trucks lifted as air quality improves

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New Delhi | Published: November 16, 2017 12:33:59 PM

The hike in parking fees by as much as 4 times was also lifted in the wake of the situation in the national capital getting better.

Delhi pollution, EPCA, parking fee hike order, parking fee hike cancel, truck ban, The hike in parking fees by as much as 4 times was also lifted in the wake of the situation in the national capital getting better.(Reuters file photo)

As the quality of air gets better in the national capital region, and pollution level decreases, the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) today withdrew its earlier orders banning the entry of trucks in Delhi. The directive has also removed the ban on construction work. The hike in parking fees by as much as 4 times was also lifted in the wake of the situation in the national capital getting better. The Delhi government had put the above measures in place after pollution levels in the city reached alarming levels with PM 2.5 and PM 10 increasing with each passing day. But, after a significant dip in PM levels, the EPCA has decided to roll back the order.

The SMDC and the other two municipal corporations — the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation — had effected a 4x hike in the fees from November 9, following the order by Lt Governor Anil Baijal in view of the high-level of pollution in the city. The old rates will, however, be restored now. EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal wrote to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana this morning, directing them to lift the measures with “immediate effect” as the prevailing air quality does not warrant such tough action. However, measures enforced under the GRAP’s ‘severe’ category including the closure of the Badarpur thermal power plant, ban on brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers will remain, the EPCA said. “We are watching the situation very carefully and we have been informed by the India Meteorological Department and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology that pollution may rise again because of increased moisture in the air in the coming days. However, if the conditions continue to improve and air quality stabilises, we will review the measures under the ‘Severe’ category and inform you accordingly,” Bhure Lal wrote.

The SDMC administers several upscale markets, including Khan Market, Sarojini Nagar Market and Central Market. The NDMC runs 104 parking lots while the EDMC has over 40 under its jurisdiction. The revised rates for cars were Rs 80 per hour and Rs 400 for 24 hours, according to the SDMC order. “For two-wheelers, it would be Rs 40 per hour and Rs 200 hours,” it had said. As per PTI, sources in the SDMC said that patrons who came to park vehicles in the lots engaged in “heated exchanges” with the staff on duty over the hike. Many even parked their vehicles along the roadside or outside the designated areas. So, due to these factors, the hike was withdrawn, they said. However, the North and East Delhi corporations, yesterday had said that they will continue with the revised rates. “We have written to the government to take up the aerial sprinkling of water from towering buildings, as we have those structures under our jurisdiction. And, also on measures to be taken from garbage removal from the streets”, said an official.

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