New Delhi, November 7, 2017 : Authorities on Tuesday hiked vehicle parking fee by four times in Delhi in a bid to curb worsening air quality in the capital as the high-pollution winter months kicked in.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) here to discourage people from using private vehicles as air pollution worsened further and touched more alarming proportions on Tuesday.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said a programme has been formulated to reduce air pollution in 102 cities across the country.
Interacting with reporters here, he said that action plan to implement “Control of Pollution” programme for 80 of these cities was ready and the ministry has earmarked Rs 460 crore for it.
“Our intention is to make the Earth green and sky blue. We have taken up 102 cities on the priority basis, where pollutants such as dust, solid waste, vehicular emmission, are causing air pollution,” he said.
Maharashtra has the highest number of cities, including Mumbai, in the list, while Delhi, Bangaluru, Bhopal, Lucknow are among the other major cities. The minister also said that the cities with million plus population would be given Rs 10 crore each under the programme.
The ministry has also come up with a list of 28 cities, where it intends to reduce Particulate Matter (PM) – PM10 and PM 2.5 – by 10 per cent in the next one-two years.
The minister also said that his ministry has received an increase of Rs 482 crore in the 2019-20 budget to Rs 3, 175 crore which was 16 per cent higher year-on-year.
However, the final budget allocation to the green ministry comes to Rs 2,954 crore as some of its subjects such as the Animal Welfare Board, and the National River Conservation Programme were transferred to other ministries. (IANS)