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Delhi’s ‘Green’ Budget:  Government Introduces 26-Point Programme To Fight Against Air Pollution

From introducing electric buses to giving incentives to industries to switch from polluting fuels, government has introduced a 26-point programme to reduce air pollution in Delhi

Air Pollution: Comprehensive Clean Air Action Plan aims to provide clean air in Delhi
  • 26 anti-pollution programmes will be introduced to bring down pollution
  • Government will introduce 1,000 electric buses by April 2019
  • Subsidy will be given to industries to switch from existing polluting fuels

New Delhi: The “green” Delhi budget 2018-19, presented on Thursday, has a 26-point programme for fighting pollution, including 1,000 electric buses and subsidies for switching to non-polluting fuel, while education and health continued to get the lion’s share of allocations.

In the Rs 53,000 crore budget, up from Rs 48,000 crore in 2017-18, Rs 13,997 crore (26 per cent of the budget) was allocated for education sector and Rs 6,729 (12.7 per cent) for health sector.

Presenting his fourth consecutive budget, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the finance portfolio, also in a “first”, introduced timelines for major projects and said that 1,000 electric buses would be rolled out by April 2019 and CCTVs would be installed in schools by mid-January 2019.

Also Read: Greenpeace Asks Government To Immediately Enforce National Clean Air Program

In minister Sisodia’s about 100-minute-long budget speech, he, at least a dozen times, pointed out that particular schemes in the budgets require Lt. Governor Anil Baijal’s approval.

The government also gave Rs 6,903 crore to the local bodies, which is 13 per cent of the total budget and 9.88 per cent higher over 2017-18’s allocations.

The 26 anti-pollution programmes, spanning across four departments — Environment, Transport, Power, and Public Works, include a real-time, round-the-year study in partnership with the University of Washington to understand sources of pollution.

Others include replacing all street lights on PWD roads with energy efficient LED lights, an extensive tree plantation drives, and new city forests in Jaunapur, Ayanagar, Dera Mandi, and Bela Farm among others.

The programmes also have a slew of incentives for switching to non-polluting fuel, including 50 per cent concession in registration charges for private cars with factory-fitted CNG.

Restaurants will be given a subsidy of Rs 5,000 per tandoor to replace coal-based ones with electricity or gas-based variants.

Also Read: India Incurred $55.39 Billion Worth Of Losses In Terms Of Labour Output Caused By Air Pollution In 2013

A subsidy of up to Rs 1 lakh will be given to industries in approved industrial areas, to switch to piped natural gas from existing polluting fuels.

Establishments would get a subsidy of up to Rs 30,000 to switch from diesel generator sets to electricity generator sets.

Government will also launch an incentivised pilot Agriculture-cum-Solar Farm scheme, under which solar panels will be installed on raised structures on agricultural farms without affecting the normal farming activities.

Another pilot project plans to install solar panels over 16 km length of cycle tracks.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while addressing media after the budget presentation, said that apart from the fight against pollution the government’s thrust areas were roads, water and sewage, noting instead of large sewage treatment plants, smaller ones would be set up so that the recycled water can be used for horticulture, water bodies, and toilets. He also noted that Rs 1,000 crore was allotted for repair of roads under municipal corporations and Rs 100 crore for those in markets.

Also Read: Centre’s Plan To Tackle Air Pollution To Now Include Cities Other Than Delhi-NCR, And Rural Areas

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