What is polluting Delhi air?: Opposition leader Ramvir Singh Bidhuri explains – The Times of India Blog


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Ramvir Singh Bidhuri is the MLA from Badarpur assembly constituency in Delhi and the leader of opposition in Delhi Assembly since 2020. He started his political journey in 1970 by joining Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad as an activist. He was an active member of Jana Sangh from 1970 to 1974. He was the chairman of the Haryana State Warehousing Corporation with the rank of cabinet minister from 1981-85. He was elected to the first Legislative Assembly of Delhi in 1993 and since then has been elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly four times. On April 14, 2008, Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Somnath Chatterjee honoured him with the title of ‘Best MLA of Delhi Legislative Assembly’. He was nominated as a member of BJP’s national executive in 2013. After being elected MLA for the fourth time in 2020, he was elected the leader of the BJP Legislature party and became the leader of the opposition with the status of a cabinet minister. LESS … MORE
No doubt, we are witnessing the worst condition of air pollution in the capital nowadays. This is only due to the non-planning of the basic infrastructure by the Delhi government. The main reasons for this bad situation are as follows:
Shabby public transport system: No doubt that the public transport system has collapsed in the city. In 2015 when the Kejriwal government came into power, there were more than 7,000 buses on the roads. But today, the number of buses plying on the roads has come down to 3,600 buses only. These 3,600 buses have also outlived their life but are still plying on the roads. Driving these buses is very dangerous from the safety point of view. At present, Delhi needs 15,000 new buses, but the Kejriwal government has not been able to buy a single bus to date. Due to this, people are forced to drive their own vehicles and the pollution caused by it is making Delhi’s air toxic.
Non-availability of Metro feeder buses on Metro station: There is an urgent need of making maximum use of the Metro. The government should think about increasing the last mile connectivity. Metro feeder bus facilities should be provided from metro stations to the destination of the people so that people can make maximum use of the metro.
Mechanical sweeping of the roads: Delhi is a big city and the capital of the country. The roads of the city need only mechanically sweeping, but the government has not enough of the sweeping machines. The result is that dust on both sides of the roads is creating dust pollution on every corner of the city. More emphasis should be given to mechanical sweeping and spraying of water, as this can prevent dust from flying on the roads.
A bad condition of the city roads: Most of the roads in the city have reached very bad condition due to heavy rains. Broken and damaged roads need immediate repair, without which traffic is getting affected and the jam is creating air pollution. Delhi government is not thinking about the repair and the situation is getting worst. Delhi government also said that it will make a plan to identify the busiest crossings and roads of traffic congestion, but nothing is done to date.
Delay in construction projects: Delay in the completion of new public construction projects like new flyovers, underpasses, and footpaths are also an important reason for the pollution. Delay in the deadline for completion of the underpass at Ashram Chowk is a big example of this reason. This project was supposed to be completed by September 2020, but now November 2021 is going to end, but nobody knows when this project will be completed. Every day, lakhs of people face traffic jams due to this project. Approximate 3.5 lakh vehicles pass through this busiest and congested crossing of the Ashram area. Despite being such an important road, it is totally neglected by the government. The speed of all the vehicles passing through this road comes to a halt and the motorists face long traffic jams even during non-peak hours.
Metro project of the third phase which was also to be completed in 2018, is nearing completion now. While the fourth phase was to be completed in 2021 but has just started.
No arrangements to remove air pollution:  The Delhi government has not shown any willingness to take some concrete steps to stop the air pollution. The government always tries to blame others for this pollution. A Rs 20-crore smog tower was installed to deal with pollution but that too is not operating. A bio mix worth Rs 40,000 was purchased to make fertilizers from stubble but not a gram of it has been made yet while a whopping Rs 15.60 crore was spent on its publicity.
Recently, Kejriwal government started a campaign of ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ through civil defense volunteers on which an amount of 6 crores was spent on their salary and Rs 20 crore on the publicity. But as per the experts, this drive was not beneficial as when once we turn down the engine and start it again, the engine creates more emissions.
I think, now the time has come that Delhi government should take some concrete steps to cope with this pollution like mechanical cleaning of the roads, a sprinkling of water on construction sites and strengthening of the public transport system.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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