Transport, environment dept to work together to curb pollution
NEW DELHI: The environment department is likely to get a new push after the reshuffle of the Delhi Cabinet where transport minister Kailash Gahlot got the environment. According to the sources, the department will now closely work with transport department as the Delhi government has already launched various projects like draft Electric Vehicle policy for Delhi.
The officials said that now the department is likely to give priority to combating the vehicular pollution. "The transport department is working on various policies to curb vehicular pollution. The city pollution is mostly vehicular, therefore the electric vehicle policy will help the city. We want to make plans where the transport and environment department will work together because that will strengthen the fight against pollution," said a senior official.
Till now, the Delhi government took various steps to protect the environment like plantation drive, making more monitoring machine, anti-smog gun and many more. "Till now most of the plans have been effective but combining transport policies with the environmental policies would be more effective and long lasting," said an official.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has targeted to have every fourth of the vehicles registered annually –public and private –to be electric by 2024 as it seeks to curb vehicular pollution in one of world's most polluted cities. This is part of Delhi's soon-to-be-announced electric vehicle (EV) policy, said an official familiar with the matter.
An estimated 700,000 to 800,000 vehicles are registered in Delhi every year. Automobiles account for 40 per cent of particulate matter (PM) and close to 80 per cent of the NOx emissions, according to a study by The Energy Research Institute (TERI) last year. With its EV policy, the Delhi government aims to cut vehicular pollution by half over the next five to 10 years.
Delhi released its draft EV policy in November 2018. It is set to notify the policy with amendments after the Cabinet approval in a month's time, said the person cited above. The Delhi government has an outlay of Rs 150 crore for EVs for the current year. Among other things, the policy will adopt the so-called "technology-agnostic" approach for EV charging. It means even those offering battery swapping technology will be eligible for incentive schemes.
In a minor reshuffle of portfolio last week, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has been given the additional charge of Environment, Forest and Wildlife, the Delhi government. The portfolio was earlier handled by Imran Hussain, who is also the Food and Supplies Minister.
"Consequent upon the allocation of the aforesaid portfolio to Kailash Gahlot, Minister, the portfolio of Environment, Forest and Wild Life earlier allocated to Imran Hussain, Minister, stands withdrawn," the notification dated July 13 read. Gahlot now heads a total of six portfolios –Administrative Reforms, Information & Technology, Law, Justice & Legislative Affairs, Transport, Revenue, and Environment, Forest and Wild Life.