India fights smog by targeting errant vehicles

NEW DELHI • India has asked the authorities in and around its capital to crack down immediately on overloaded lorries, illegally parked cars and vehicles emitting visible smoke in the world's most polluted city.

The state governments of Delhi and neighbouring Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were asked on Wednesday to take immediate action to prevent parking in non-designated areas, launch awareness drives and check overloading of vehicles, federal Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a statement.

A plan to fit particulate filters in diesel vehicles has been put into immediate effect.

The state governments have also been asked to promote battery-operated vehicles, enforce the ban on burning of agricultural waste and control dust pollution at construction sites.

But environmentalists said such action plans needed to be pursued with greater urgency.

"The focus should be on the implementation strategy, accountability, monitoring and compliance," said Ms Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of the Centre for Science and Environment think-tank.

Reuters had reported earlier this month that India was devising a plan to combat smog in New Delhi, which has been rated as the world's most polluted city by the World Health Organisation.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2016, with the headline 'India fights smog by targeting errant vehicles'. Print Edition | Subscribe