In an effort to curb the growing air pollution in Bihar, the state government on November 4, Monday, banned 15-year-old government and commercial vehicles from plying across the state. However, an exemption to ply on roads is made for private vehicles only if they pass a pollution test.
The decision came into force from today, November 5.
Nitish Kumar also warned the farmers that if they burn stubble in the state, they won’t be provided with any agricultural subsidy.
The decision comes after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar convened an emergency meeting with the state environmental authorities in the backdrop of rampant pollution prevailing in some districts in Bihar. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Environment Sushil Kumar Modi, Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar, Chairman of Bihar Pollution Control Board Ashok Ghosh, Patna commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar Agarwal and Patna DM Kumar Ravi.
“The state government has decided that all government vehicles that are more than 15-years-old will be banned across the state. Commercial vehicles that are more than 15-yrs-old will be banned in Patna and adjacent regions. The notifications will be issued tomorrow,” CM Kumar told media.
“The state government has taken an important decision to curb pollution in the state which includes banning of old commercial vehicles. It has been found that vehicles account for almost 30% of the pollution in the state. All the decisions taken in the meeting will be notified tomorrow,” said Deepak Kumar, Chief Secretary, Bihar to India Today.
Bihar government took the decision after the Supreme Court lashed out at the Delhi government for their ineffective approach towards tackling the perilous pollution in Delhi.
Patna has also seen a surge in pollution, particularly after Diwali.
In Patna, the Air Quality Index (AQI) on November 4, Monday, almost reached the 400-mark, which is highly alarming for the state. AQI in Muzaffarpur and Gaya were better than they were in Patna, but nonetheless, remained under the very poor category at 369 and 317, respectively.
Other States Policy Measures To Curb Pollution
The North Indian states are reeling under massive air pollution with the air quality deteriorating with every passing day as 14 out of 20 most polluted cities of the world are in India. All of them are situated in North India, including Kanpur, Faridabad, Varanasi, Gaya, Patna, Delhi, Lucknow, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur. Therefore, different state governments are tackling the issue in different ways.
Here is how the states are dealing with the issue:
Punjab – The Punjab government has launched an action against almost 3,000 farmers for burning stubble and contributing to air pollution in Punjab and nearby states. The Amarinder Singh government, that hoped to reduce stubble burning in the state by 10 to 20% in 2019, said that so far the government has received complaints against 20,729 cases of stubble burning as opposed to around 49,000 complaints lodged last year. The government has also initiated action against 2,923 farmers, the Punjab CM said.
Haryana – The state has not taken any steps as such, but urged the Centre to convene an emergency meeting with the neighbouring states of National Capital Region, including Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, so that measures can be taken at the earliest.
Uttar Pradesh – Planning to emulate the same model of Delhi – the odd-even scheme – Yogi Adityanath on November 4, Monday, asked the Lucknow administration to implement odd-even at the earliest.
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