New Delhi, Nov 7: The Supreme Court-appointed green panel, Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA), recommended on Tuesday that parking fee in the national capital should be hiked by four times the usual fee.
The green panel also instructed to lower metro fares to encourage people to adopt public mode of transport. It said that the fare be lowered on off-peak hours, and more coaches should be introduced. The EPCA said that a fine of Rs 50,000 be imposed on construction agencies that violate dust pollution rules.
The green panel took these measures to discourage people from using personal vehicles, which majorly contribute to the smog that has been present in Delhi since Diwali.
The panel took the emergency decision as air quality in Delhi deteriorated as the pollution levels got severely high. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked Education Minister Manish Sisodia to consider shutting schools. (Also read: NGT pulls up Delhi, UP, Haryana govts over air pollution)
The fall in air quality started on Monday evening when moisture mixed with pollutants cause a cover of thick maze over the city. The Central Pollution Control Board recorded ‘severe’ air quality.
“Total calm conditions, marked by the complete absence of wind has led to the situation. The moisture has trapped emissions from ground level sources,” Dipankar Saha, CPCB’s air lab chief, was quoted by PTI.
The Indian Medical Association(IMA) declared the condition state’s medical emergency and had written to the Delhi Chief Minister to declare holidays in schools for a few days. (Also read: As Air Pollution Reaches ‘Severe’, IMA Declares Public Health Emergency in Delhi)
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday pulled up Delhi, UP, Haryana governments that, why preventive measures were not taken.
“The ambient air quality is so bad that children are not able to breath properly. Why didn’t you not spray water using helicopters as per our direction? You take instructions and inform us day after tomorrow,” the bench said.