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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Delhi Pollution Control-Possible 10 point solution!

Indian Bloggers
This post shares some of my thoughts that can potentially reduce pollution levels around New Delhi and National Capital Region. We are already paying for drinking water- we should act before we are forced to start buying breathing air.

Vehicles are one of the many sources- while banning vehicles outright is one way, providing alternate solutions that discourages people from using vehicles or encourages them to use it less is another way. I have listed about 10 possible steps.

1. Relocate industries- Any factory within 100km radius of Delhi, that has a chimney and emits pollutant gas should be relocated to faraway cities. This will take away one primary pollutant.
2. Discourage MICE. Delhi is cheapest place in the country to own a vehicle. So almost all companies launch their vehicles here, so that they can announce lowest amount possible. Similarly everyday dozens of major events bring in thousands of visitors into NCR. MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) is a major source of money for hotels, cabs etc, but also generates huge carbon footprint as thousands of people hire taxis to get around. If organizers can be discouraged from holding large events in Delhi or if they can be given a better alternative somewhere else close-by, then a large number of visitors can be diverted, reducing their carbon footprint that much.

3. Better public transportation with reliable and easy to find information. Of course strengthening public transportation with more buses is good. But what is needed is an app that can be used by visitors/public to get to plan their day and to their destination. Countries like Switzerland have mastered this. With zero knowledge about city's public transportation, a visitor can use the app to find out how to get to his destination. The real time information on how to get to a destination, what time next bus is expected and how long it will take- if this can be made available online and if the public transportation can be made reliable, then a good number of visitors and city residents alike will be encouraged to try public transportation instead of hiring a taxi.

4. Relocate cargo hubs- thousands of trucks bring cargo to NCR everyday, only to be unloaded and loaded into another truck and sent somewhere else. If such warehouses and transit facilities can be shifted away from city, pollution caused by thousands of trucks that move in and out of these cargo facilities can be saved. This way, if a truck has nothing to load or unload in NCR, then it shouldn't come near city.
5. Try RORO- the unique concept of moving trucks on train. This concept can cut pollution from hundreds of trucks otherwise caused. (More about RORO in this post)

6. Secondary airport- today everyone visiting Taj has to land in Delhi, those visiting the Himalayas have to transit via Delhi. If a secondary airport can be developed then it will take load off Indira Gandhi airport located in the heart of the city. Less planes means less aviation fuel burnt. Less pollution.

7. Relax interstate tourist taxi permit fees. Today if you rent a taxi in Delhi then you need to pay extra at every state Delhi borders- these fees cost several hundred rupees per visit. White board private vehicles are exempt from this fee. Given that NCR borders with many states, owning a vehicle works out cheaper to residents than renting a taxi if they have to make frequent visits to nearby states. If cost of renting a car can be at par (or only marginally higher) than owning a car, more people can be persuaded not to buy a car but rent them on need basis. (More about interstate tourist vehicle tax mafia here)

8. Discourage college students from coming in cars. IIT-M mandates that students should park their vehicles near the entrance and use a cycle for movement inside the campus. Same should be enforced in all institutes in NCR- encourage students to use college bus or public transportation, not their own cars and bike

9. Provide less pollutant fuel to poor- in winter, poor people try to burn whatever they can find and get some warmth. Most of the stuff they burn could add significantly to the air pollution- some research is needed on this. If they can have access to a better way of heating, pollution would come down that much.

10. eGovernance- Delhi has lots of government offices- state and central. Lakhs of people visit these offices everyday to get their work done. If most of these work can be automated or made online- people can apply online, check status and get required stuff online, without having to physically visit a government office, then a significant amount of pollution, caused by these people going to and from govt offices, can be saved.

Few other steps like curbing diesel vehicles is already being implemented, which is good. The Odd/Even formula is also being tried- hopefully it works- I see many loopholes that can reduce the effect of this campaign- rich people will buy more cars.

What are your thoughts?

Similar: Save Bengaluru before it chokes

11 comments :

Shaivi said...

Nice thoughts. U should definitely tweet this to Delhi govt!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks.. Will do

Arun Prasadh said...

Nice list. Hope someone is listening.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Arun

Vinay Nagaraju said...

A very sensible one Srinidhi. I like the last one especially, e governance in India is a must and it can solve many problems at once.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Vinay

The wild said...

Saw press conference of the one and unique Kejriwal -his suggestion is he has not planned even 1 extra bus to encourage ppl to leave behind their vehicles.

He suggests doing car pooling ,wait -not with strangers ,only with relatives or known people.so much for planning ! and the endless list of exemptions for the rule -never ending.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hmm, I read somewhere about 6000 extra buses are planned

http://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/arvind-kejriwal-on-odd-even-formula-for-cars-highlights-1253343

There are many car pooling apps already which should help.

Anyway, let us wait for a month to see how this scheme turns out.

The wild said...

Yes ,it will turn out very well .first make a rule then give exemptions ,it will turn out good . http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/why-exempt-women-2-wheelers-from-odd-even-rule-hc-to-aap-govt/

Nisha said...

Saw interview of CM. They have already taking multiple steps. But yes, we ourselves need to do something.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Nisha- ok. Let us wait for results. Hopefully they are good.

@The wild- true- may be after sometime these exemptions will be revoked- hopefully. It is easier to enforce on some people at least and then expand to all