New Delhi: A day after announcing stringent measures to bring down the level of pollution in the city, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday assured that he will not do anything that creates problem for people.
With experts and Opposition parties questioning the practicality of the scheme, he said many things are to be thrashed out before its implementation including talks with the Centre and police as they will have to be "taken on board".
Seeking to assuage concerns, he said it was an in-principle decision and will be "thought through" for at least 20 days and that a committee of top officials has been appointed to work out details like exemptions in case of medical emergencies.
Kejriwal said the measure would be implemented on a trial basis, the period of which can range from a fortnight to 20 days.
“Many things have to be sorted out. If there are too many problems, it will be stopped,” PTI quoted him as saying.
Kejriwal said his government had planned to introduce the scheme at a later stage after building a dedicated and elevated bus corridor but was forced to take the drastic step following a situation of "emergency and panic" in the wake of Delhi High Court's observation that the city has become a "gas chamber".
"We thought when we will be prepared at that level (bus corridor), we will start imposing some kind of restrictions on private vehicles like cars. This emergency situation that has come now, I think for its cooling down, if not anything else at least for few days cars will have to be removed from the streets,”he said.
"Many things need to be sorted out. Let's try for few days, a week to 10 days if there is much trouble it will be stopped. Or will implement it 15 days later by learning from the experience. There are several options," he said at the HT Leadership Summit.
In a radical step to curb air pollution, the city government yesterday announced that private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers will be allowed to ply only on alternate days starting January 1.
The Chief Minister said apart from the elevated corridor for buses, he had thought of redesigning roads, augmenting public transport by bringing at least 10,000 buses before introducing restrictive measures.
Talking about initiatives taken by his government yesterday to tackle pollution, Kejriwal said vacuum cleaning on all PWD roads will begin from April 1 and grass will be planted on side kerbs and central verges of all the arterial roads to remove dust.
Listing initiatives to curb air pollution, Kejriwal said his government has decided to shut Rajghat and Badarpur thermal power plants and all trucks entering Delhi will be checked at various entry points.
The chief minister said no truck will be allowed to enter Delhi before 11 in the night against existing 9 PM. "Erring vehicles will be penalised heavily," he said.
"We ensure stricter enforcement in ensuring issuance of pollution under control certificates at petrol pumps through use of computerised system," he said.
Kejriwal said people burning garbage will be fined as part of measures to control pollution, noting that dust blown by winds was a major problem the city faces.
On his relationship with the Centre, Kejriwal talked about "constant interference" by the central government and said some problems are political while some are constitutional.
"You need your space to be able to govern. Some problems are political and some problems are constitutional," he said.
Asked about his experience in government, Kejriwal said "Governance is not rocket science. But day-to-day interference completely saps you. All I want is freedom to take my decisions. I don't even want credit for it. PM Modi can take all the credit."
On bureaucracy, he said they used to face lot of difficulties earlier but are happy now.
"People in bureaucracy are good. They are happy with our government. They're happy now that their is no interference," Kejriwal said.
(With agency inputs)