COP21

Last week, Delhi Government got an earful from Honorable High Court, about their plan to curb Delhi’s world-highest pollution levels. The court dismissed their plan as not comprehensive and having no definitive timelines. While Delhi Government claims to be accountable, unless it commits to time-bound targets, it was simply taking the easier path.

After the reprimand, they proposed an odd-even formula for private vehicles. Essentially rendering a large fleet of vehicles useless for 50% of the time. Such poor utilization will force people to reconsider the usefulness of their vehicles. Delhi undoubtedly has the best public transport in entire country, because of DMRC - Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. However the privileged section of the society has always had a disdain for using public transportation, leading to 9.6million registered vehicles, growing at the rate of ~0.55 million new ones each year. Source Link.

Besides announcing the Odd-Even formula, the Delhi Government also solicited suggestions from public at [email protected]

Here’s my list which I sent to them today -

  1. Ban on burning organic waste. Organic waste should be composted and not burnt. Strict implementation and punishment for defaulters should be tracked to improve compliance

  2. Stricter pollution checking and fines for Commercial Vehicles

  3. New deterrents for people buying new cars. This may include - higher road taxes, higher parking fees, for cars parked on public streets, carpooling bicycle lanes, giving prime parking slots to Bicycles and Electric Vehicles

  4. Electric Cars and Scooters should be exempt. They don’t pollute the city, no emissions from tailpipe

  5. Tax and fines collected from polluting vehicles should be used to improve green-zones, better compliance of pollution norms. Again transparency on where the money was spent and what track the benefit. This money can also be used to subsidize monthly metro/bus passes for students and under-privileged.

  6. Publish a 3 year goal to lower per-capita vehicle ownership in Delhi. The plan will be successful when people sell their vehicles and use public transport instead.

  7. Chief Minister and Delhi Government, from now onwards should only buy electric vehicles, to promote their usage and also be able to use them everyday!

You may also submit your suggestions to the Delhi Government.

Best, Umang

p.s. The title refers to the Climate Conference going on in Paris this week. Link