Delhi govt earmarks Rs 9,394cr to deal with pollution

The Delhi government in its annual budget for 2021-22 presented on Tuesday allocated an amount of Rs 9,394 crore to improve the city’s pollution situation which constantly has been a challenging task for the last several years.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia who is also the Finance Minister in the Arvind Kejriwal-led ruling AAP government, presenting the annual estimated budget for the financial year 2021-22 stated that city’s air pollution is a biggest problem, and “the government was working on a 360 degree-approach to tackle it”.

He said that the government was working towards a pollution-free Delhi by India’s 100th year of independence.

“Delhi government is working on 360 degree-approach to tackle the problem of pollution in the city. We are introducing measures step-by-step. Our government is also working on increasing the green cover of Delhi. Anti-smog guns were made mandatory at construction sites and coming up with policies for the better management of solid waste. We have prepared a roadmap by which we have aimed that by 100th of independence, Delhi can leave behind the problem of pollution, just like Covid-19,” Sisodia said in his budget speech.

The minister highlighted Delhi government’s electric vehicle policy, claiming that EV policy 2020 was one among several measures taken for reducing the pollution of the national capital.

Sisodia said that before this initiative, the share of electric vehicles in Delhi was merely 0.2 per cent of the total registered vehicles.

However, after the policy was launched, this share has increased to 2.2 per cent of the total registered vehicles in the Capital.

“Now, we have planned that by 2024, the share of electric vehicles in Delhi will improve to around 25 per cent and to make this happen, we are working towards installing as many as 500 charging points. 72 such charging points are already operational. We will ensure that by 2024 Delhi will have EV charging points at the distance of every three km,” The minister added.

Apart from EV policy, the Delhi Finance Minister also highlighted the public transport system of the city. He pointed out that the population of the national capital has reached close to 3 crore.

To augment the public transport infrastructure, Sisodia said 1,300 additional e-buses will be added to the city’s fleet. For the first time in the last decade, Delhi has managed to get 6,693 public buses in its fleet; another 1,000 will be added by September.

The minister also said the Delhi government has approved all sections of phase-4 Delhi metro line.