The AAP government on Thursday announced a slew of measures to reduce air pollution, including incentives to switch over to clean fuels, in its Budget and claimed it was the first ‘green budget’ presented in any Assembly of India.
Presenting the Budget in the Delhi Assembly, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia assured to carry out the first comprehensive city-wide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and provide a dedicated information system to show current levels of pollution by installing 1,000 indoor display panels at government buildings.
Noting that the "green budget" was being presented with 26 schemes or projects, Sisodia, who is also the finance minister, promised to start a pilot agriculture-cum-solar farm scheme.
These schemes or projects are spread across the environment, power, transport and public works departments.
The government will also purchase 60 new vehicles, body-worn cameras and e-challaning tabs, he said.
"I will now present our government's first Green Budget for Delhi to this House, which I believe is also the first Green Budget to be presented in any Legislative Assembly in India," Sisodia said.
"Over the past few months, we have studied several possible initiatives that can reduce air pollution in Delhi and have brought forward the short-listed proposals in the form of Green Budget," he said in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Observing that the government collaborated with global think-tank World Resource Institute to understand the impact of the "green budget" for 2018-19, Sisodia claimed that the 26 projects will have reduce CO2, PM2.5 and other pollutants emissions on a per year basis.
It will reduce CO2 by 20,98,000 MT while there will be a reduction of 503 MT of PM2.5. Similarly, the 26 proposals will reduce 4,540 MT of NOX and 9364MT of SOX, he said.
"If we have to control a dangerous problem such as pollution, then reliable data is a must. In the coming year, 2018-19, Delhi will become the first city of the country to carry out a real-time source apportionment study in partnership with the University of Washington and carry out near-continuous analysis of factors causing pollution on a regular basis," Sisodia said.
The government will also partner with the C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of the largest cities in the world, to carry out the first comprehensive city-wide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in Delhi, he said.
The deputy chief minister said that a real-time source apportionment study in partnership with the University of Washington will be carried out.
The government will offer an incentive to industries in approved industrial areas of up to Rs 1 lakh to switch over to piped natural gas from existing polluting fuels, Sisodia said.
Similarly, a subsidy of up to Rs 5,000 per tandoor will be offered to restaurants to replace coal tandoors with electricity or gas-based tandoors, he said.
Subsidy of up to Rs 30,000 to firms and establishments to switch over from diesel generator sets of 10 KVA or more capacity to clean fuel-based electricity generator sets will be provided, Sisodia said.
He said 1,000 fully-electric buses is proposed in Delhi during 2018-19 will be rolled out.
"This will be the largest fleet of electric buses in any city or state in India, and in fact, by any city in the world outside of China," he said, adding that the transport department will support induction of 905 electric feeder vehicles by DMRC.
One-time subsidy of Rs 30,000 will also be given to all e-rickshaw owners registered during the period of July 1, 2015, to April 1, 2016, while an additional amount of Rs 15,000 will be given to those owners who were paid subsidy at the old rate of Rs 15,000.
"This subsidy will be given from the Air Ambience Fund," he said, adding that 50 per cent concession in registration charges for CNG factory fitted private cars will be given. W Weigh Bridges at three impounding pits in Burari, Sarai Kale Khan and Dwarka will be installed while 60 new vehicles, body-worn cameras and e-challaning tabs will also be purchased.
A new scheme "Landscaping of PWD roads" will be launched for beautification of all PWD roads and the government is committed to purchase 1,000 MW of Green Power - from solar and wind-based generation in 2018-19, Sisodia announced.
He said during 2017-18, about 5.5 lakh seedlings were planted till December 2017 while another 3 lakh is likely to plant by March 2018 and another 7.93 lakh shrubs have been planted by civic agencies during 2017-18 as per availability of land.
These and other measures, he said have paid dividend and the forest and tree cover of Delhi has increased from 299.77 sq km in 2015 to 305.41 sq km in 2017.
Noting that Delhi will be made 'Kikkar free', he said a long-term plan for replacement of Vilyati Kikkar in Central Ridge Area has been launched, and hope to get substantial progress in the coming year.