Experts have expressed apprehensions over the Supreme Court-appointed EPCA's proposal to ban non-CNG private and commercial vehicles, saying there is a need to strengthen public transport first.
Environment Protection Control Authority (EPCA) Chairman Bhure Lal, in a letter to chief secretary of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, warned that if the air quality in Delhi continues to deteriorate then it would impose a complete ban on the use of non-CNG private as well as commercial vehicles.
"In the scenario that the weather remains adverse and that the current situation of air quality remains in 'very poor' or 'severe' category then there is no option but to direct for a complete stop on the use of private and commercial vehicles other than those plying on CNG so that pollution can be contained," Lal said in the letter.
Experts have said there is a need to strengthen public transport before taking this decision.
Sunil Dahiya, member of Greenpeace India, said there are bigger sources like industrial waste that needs to be targeted before.
"There is a need for stronger public transport system. People should be provided with alternatives before implementing such a move otherwise the plan might not work just like the firecracker ban did not," he said.
Ravina Kohli, an environmentalist and member of #MyRightToBreathe campaign, called the move a knee-jerk reaction.
"Where's the public transport to go to work then? If you see the source apportionment, one knee-jerk reaction alone isn't going to help. But collective wisdom and collective action will.
"We need changes in transport policy and public transport to ensure the most under served are not inconvenienced. You can say use cycles or walk, but where are the walkable footpaths and cycle tracks?," she asked
D Saha, former air quality chief at CPCB, said use of single fuel is not the right choice.
"Delhi is congested in terms of activity, vehicle thus needs the decongestion approach. Odd-even is one of the right choices, but it should be applied to entire NCR and all vehicles.
"Delhi people have either purchased another vehicle or hired from other towns, thus anticipated result was not gained," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)