Friday November 22, 2019

NGT tells Himachal Govt to take steps to reduce noise pollution

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Shimla: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Himachal Pradesh government to take a slew of steps aimed at reducing air and noise pollution in the state capital.

The state has been ordered to impose Rs.500 as “green tax” on each vehicle emitting pollution on Shimla’s restricted roads, including the Mall Road.

The tribunal asked the government to consider implementing one-way traffic on the Cart Road, the circular road in the state capital.

“Definite steps are required to be taken at the earliest. If not taken now, the day is not far when ambient air quality of Shimla would deteriorate to an undesirable level, causing health hazards,” the NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar observed.

“It’s a matter of common knowledge that air and noise pollution, particularly in Shimla, is increasing by the day. Traffic congestion is one of the major contributors to such excessive pollution,” the bench said.

The state was ordered to declare “silence zones” and display sign boards at conspicuous places in Shimla and ensure that no noise was produced by any process, including horns, in such zones.

The tribunal also directed to ensure no parking was allowed on the sealed roads, besides smooth traffic movement on the Cart Road.

The NGT asked the Himachal government to revisit all vehicle permits for sealed and restricted roads within three months, completely prohibiting or restricting vehicular traffic on such roads.

The 13-page order asked that the state government take immediate steps to strictly comply with the directions.

It said authorities had not complied with its earlier orders.

Favouring the practice of automobile-free zones, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had also sought status reports from the state as to how many vehicles were allowed to ply on the sealed roads of Shimla.

It also sought replies on the steps taken to implement the Shimla Road Users and Pedestrians (Public Safety and Convenience) Act of 2007.

Shimla has several automobile-free zones to facilitate unrestricted movement of pedestrians.(IANS)

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Himachal Pradesh Aiming to Achieve 100% Transition to Electric Vehicles by 2030

Baldi said that the vision of the policy was to establish Himachal as a model state for electric vehicle adoption and to provide sustainable

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Himachal Pradesh, Transition, Electric Vehicles
A meeting to frame the draft for the Himachal Pradesh Electric Vehicle Policy 2019 was held here, chaired by Chief Secretary Shrikant Baldi. Pixabay

Himachal Pradesh is aiming to achieve 100 per cent transition to electric vehicles by 2030 in alignment with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, an official said on Wednesday.

A meeting to frame the draft for the Himachal Pradesh Electric Vehicle Policy 2019 was held here, chaired by Chief Secretary Shrikant Baldi.

Baldi said that the vision of the policy was to establish Himachal as a model state for electric vehicle adoption and to provide sustainable, safe, eco-friendly, inclusive and integrated mobility.

Himachal Pradesh, Transition, Electric Vehicles
Himachal Pradesh is aiming to achieve 100 per cent transition to electric vehicles by 2030 in alignment with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, an official said on Wednesday. Pixabay

The policy aimed to save the environment, accelerate demand for electrical vehicles, promote a sustainable transport system and create a public-private charging infrastructure, he added.

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The Chief Secretary said that a provision for charging spots in commercial buildings such as hotels and shopping malls has also been included in the policy. (IANS)