New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal Thursday said that air pollution in the capital needs to be dealt with "harsh" steps, and asked the authorities concerned to consider hike in parking, vehicle registration fees and congestion charges.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed a slew of directions while observing that Delhi is one of the worst cities as far as air pollution is concerned.
"It is undisputed that Delhi is one of the worst cities as far as air pollution is concerned. Studies have shown that air pollution in city is dangerous to human health. Inspite of various policies framed by state and other authorities ambient air quality is found to be in violation above prescribed norms.
"In order to curb the vehicular pollution we direct that the authorities concerned to consider higher parking fees, registration fees as well as congestion charges before next date of hearing" on January nine, the bench said.
It also said that studies have shown that there were mainly three primary sources of pollution--vehicular pollution, burning of plastic waste and other material in open air and dust emanating from various sources.
"The extent of air pollution has increased day by day causing various health problems to the citizens of Delhi and even morning walkers are not safe in the capital. It is unquestionable that citizens of Delhi are entitled to better quality of water and air," it said.
On the issue of traffic congestion due to parking, the bench directed the Delhi government and municipal corporations to start a pilot project in Lajpat Nagar and Karol Bagh areas here.
The tribunal also directed the city government to take effective steps to enhance public transport and also develop required infrastructure for it.
"It would be ensured that public transport shall be made more user friendly. DTC is directed to improve time-table of buses so that there is less congestion on roads. It shall also ensure that every bus operating under it is subjected to mechanical check up every month and pollution under control (PUC) certificate twice a month," the bench said.
The tribunal had on November 26 banned plying of vehicles older than 15 years on the city roads.
On December 2, the tribunal had held a meeting with stakeholders to devise modalities for implementation of its order banning plying of old vehicles and invited suggestion from various departments in this regard.