URJA Stand On Resolving Delhi Pollution Issues
Ways To Control Various Forms Of Pollution In The State of Delhi
Statement Of URJA’s Position
This note seeks to clarify URJA’s considered position on Delhi’s pollution issues, of which, the odd-even formula is but a small part. After due consultation and discussions with URJA’s Zonal, Assembly& Ward Coordinators, RWAs and citizens from across Delhi, we have the following comments/representations about this vexing issue.
1. Transport, road & mobility
· URJA believe that The Centre, The State Government and the Three Municipal corporations should view the pollution issue in totality and not reduce it to a narrow debate limited to ‘odd & even’ day car use through 15 day initiatives through school vacations
· We maintain that the mohalla sabha format is inadequate for taking proper decisions on this matter which require specialist or scientific input. The decision on odd/even has to be taken with car owners being the major stakeholders.
· URJA recommends that a clear timebound roadmap for pollution control in Delhi be published within 3 months in consultation with national and international subject matter specialists and organizations.This should draw on lessons and best practices learnt from international successes and failures. This should include short, medium and long term measures with SMART objectives and publicly available KPIs
· URJA believes that the emission reduction strategy and policy should be centered around pedestrian facilities, greening wherever possible, the use of public transport. In the Road Hierarchy the Pedestrian should be King, followed by Cyclists, Metros, Public Buses, and last of all other vehicles.
- URJA believes that in line with advanced nations a national vehicle and driver database should be implemented. A points based system to introduce fines and penalties on the licences should be implemented with incremental penalties for repeat offenders culminating in revocation of licence after a certain number of points say 10 points over 3 year period.
· URJA believe that the Delhi Government transport program should start with a dramatic implementation of disability friendly and encroachment and vendor free footpaths & to facilitate last-mile connectivity to public transport and public utilities and cycle lanes. The Government has to follow its own norms in this matter. Local public bus shuttle services should be introduced to provide easy connectivity to metros, major malls and market places.
· URJA wants the Government to deliver a massive infusion of buses,& increased metro coaches and trains besides facilitating innovative radio taxi and car pool services
· URJA wants the Government to focus on order and discipline on Delhi’s roads by resorting to a plethora of stringent measures including enforcing very strict driving tests with a focus not only on the ability of the driver to drive the car but on the drivers ability to drive the car with responsibility and consideration for other road users. The onus should be on the driver to prove that he or she can drive with responsibility and consideration for other road users. Advanced technology and stringent and painful penalties should be enforced throughout Delhi on offending drivers.
· URJA recommends a law on parking on the lines recommended by the urban transport policy which includes discouraging free and unlimited parking for cars. URJA very strongly denounces the repeated subsiding of car parking for the rich, and the rampant and blatantly illegal misappropriation of footpaths for free parking being allowed by all arms of the administration. The fundamental right to walk is being subverted. A Policy on owning a vehicle [Car etc.] maybe framed in this regard. Parking and illegal parking fines should be a major source of revenue for the State Of Delhi.
· All public utilities offices shall have enough parking space within its premises to accommodate the ingress & egress of vehicles by visitors.
- All major colonies should have limited auto rickshaw parking bays for a maximum of 2 to 5 auto rickshaws depending on demand and colony size. Any auto rickshaws parked outside marked bays should be heavily fined.
· URJA recommends that as part of the traffic-flow review, the concept of yellow and double yellow parking lines, so successful in all major international cities like New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong,Singapore, be implemented vigorously and stringently on all Delhi roads and residential areas. Smart CCTV cameras should be used to enforce compliance.
- All public taxi drivers and auto rickshaw drivers should be subjected to very stringent tests before being given a licence to drive. Most of the taxi drivers and auto rickshaw drivers routinely and fearlessly violate the laws of the road. They should be strictly brought into line by strict enforcement and by double the penalties for private road users on grounds of public responsibility while driving and putting their clients lives at risk. The driving licences of repeat offenders should be revoked.
· URJA urges the Government at the Centre and State to urgently enforce international Fuel emission standards(BS6) and the Air Pollution and control of Pollution act 1981.
· URJA expects the Government to prioritise the maintenance and development of Delhi’s roads in a controlled and planned manner to cause minimal disruption to the smooth flow of traffic
· URJA expects Delhi’s bus drivers to be re-educated and disciplined where necessary to ensure that they follow road safety rules and are considerate to fellow road users without disrupting the smooth flow of traffic behind them when stopping at Bus Stops..
· URJA expects the Government to act stringently to limit Trucks entering Delhi and to enforce the relevant court orders immediately
· URJA expects the Central Government to fill most of the current vacancies in traffic police and re-train existing traffic police in smarter and more technology orientated ways of policing to increase productivity and efficiency. It is discouraging for the public to see police idling away next to traffic lights and often drinking tea. A well motivated, technology friendly and energetic police force is essential to police a modern India. Compare a traffic policeman in India with another in UK, USA or China.You can see the difference in the energy and enthusiasm that they exude.
· The issues regarding scavenging on PWD roads, MCD roads and colony lanes shall be dust free and timings re-regulated
· URJA believes the Delhi Government must share its findings in respect of the odd-even experiment before it can ask the people if odd-even should be implemented. The onus is on the Delhi Government to show how beneficial the experiment in reducing Delhi’s air pollution was and its sustainability if continued over the long term
2. Solid waste management ( a -organic waste b. - construction waste and c - road dust)
· URJA expects the Government to enforce and regularly publish KPIs on how much C&D waste has been converted for use by PWD on non-structural projects
· URJA expects regular published statistics and KPIs of fines recovered from responsible persons for construction and building waste strewn all over Delhi with comparison against stringent targets and rules imposed by NGT.
· URJA urges for framing guidelines and implementation at the ward level; organic Solid Waste management/water conservation&Kitchen waste recycling.–Such as norms and guidelines to allow a corner inColony Parks for Kitchen waste recycle and produce manure may be framed. Inmost advanced countries kitchen waste management is enforced by having an efficient kitchen and household waste collection service with the onus on each household to segregate their waste into different categories like food waste,tin cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, batteries, newspapers etc. Many local collection centers are also provided for safe and segregated collection. Very strict penalties are imposed for non-compliance.
· URJA strongly advocates the strict implementation of the Governments own policy on the ban on the use and disposal of plastic bags and other packaging material. This ban needs to be vigorously enforced through strict penalties. Recycling and safe disposal of existing plastic waste should be implemented.
3. Water waste management ( a.Kitchen water recycling, b. Sewage and drains, c. Rain water harvesting
· The ever overflowing sewage system in almost whole of the city shall be set right in a phased manner so that the water contamination of ground water is taken care.
4. Gaseous and toxic emissions
· The emissions from the Kitchen chimney of the cooking giants all over the state, Tandoor on road side, burning of leafs and industrial emissions and gensets shall also be addressed side by side by enforcing the existing laws.
· Toxic e-Waste from electrical and electronic products and used batteries should be strictly controlled at Household and Industry level. Households should be educated about their safe disposal and safe disposal facilities provided at community level. Industries and Households should be penalized heavily if laws and rules are not observed.
· URJA believes that Delhi’s Pollution Control Plan should start with responsibilities and actions taken by the Government and its agencies to facilitate the public. This should be followed by responsibilities and actions required from the public.
· URJA maintains that most of the legal framework already exists in the form of existing laws and Court orders. As is well known and accepted, enforcement is the issue. If the laws were enforce and/or court orders followed, Delhi would not be the poisoned city it has become.
· URJA believe that in order to serve the increasing demands of the people of Delhi a major restructuring of the main delivery organizations like MCD, NDMC, DDA and PWD is paramount. The reorganization should be service and customer centric and should aim to use modern technology and automation to provide one-stop, end-to-end solutions for all delivery services. This lean organization will avoid duplication, service overlap and end red tape and bureaucracy.
· URJA believes that Civil Administration is ripe to serve a modern resurgent India by adopting change, re-engineering archaic processes and adopting modern technology. The possibilities for improvement are boundless and encouraging. Its time for Civil Administration to re-invent itself into a resurgent potent force with public satisfaction as it central focus.