Odd-even is not enough, says Gad­kari

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

New Delhi: Schemes like “odd-even” won’t solve the prob­lem of pol­lu­tion in Delhi, road trans­port and high­ways min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari said on Tues­day.

Speak­ing to re­porters af­ter tak­ing stock of the progress of widen­ing of NH-24, Gad­kari said Delhi’s pol­lu­tion as seen in the past few days is a “com­plex” is­sue. “Delhi has com­plex is­sue of pol­lu­tion… There is ve­hic­u­lar pol­lu­tion, smog, al­most no wind flow and cli­mate change... Odd-even is not enough. Con­struc­tion works were go­ing on and ve­hi­cles were ply­ing. But the prob­lem has be­come acute re­cently,” he said.

Gad­kari said he has writ­ten to en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter Dr Harsvard­han to carry out a de­tailed study en­gag­ing ex­perts to find so­lu­tions. “Delhi is our cap­i­tal… Peo­ple from world over come to the city. Traf­fic jams and pol­lu­tion give a wrong im­pres­sion,” he added.

The min­is­ter said he would urge peo­ple to adopt al­ter­na­tive fuel, in­clud­ing ethanol, methanol and elec­tric to solve the is­sue of pol­lu­tion. “We will soon start a trial run of elec­tric buses in Delhi. It will have two vari­ants - one with lithium-ion bat­tery and the other will be high ca­pac­ity charger. We are keen to see fa­cil­i­ties for di­rect charg­ing sys­tem at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions to pro­mote elec­tric trans­porta­tion. I will urge Delhi gov­ern­ment and the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions to come for­ward and take this up,” Gad­kari said.

The min­is­ter said the gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing op­tions how to push con­ver­sion of rice straw from states like Ut­tar Pradesh, Haryana and Pun­jab to con­vert them into bio-fuel to re­duce the pol­lu­tion caused by crop burn­ing.

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