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Delhi Govt Sitting on Rs 787 Crore Fund Meant for Fighting Pollution, Reveals RTI

As per the RTI Reply, a breakdown of the figures reveal that in 2015, Delhi Government had a whopping Rs 50.65 crore in its kitty which rose up to Rs 386 crore in 2016, and in 2017, it stood at a little over Rs 787 crore.

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Updated:November 16, 2017, 12:08 PM IST
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Delhi Govt Sitting on Rs 787 Crore Fund Meant for Fighting Pollution, Reveals RTI
A man chews sugarcane on a bridge during smoggy morning in New Delhi. (REUTERS/Representative Image)
New Delhi: As the capital gasps for breath, Delhi Government is sitting on Rs 787 crores that it collected as Environmental Cess, revealed an RTI query. The RTI petition was filed by activist Sanjeev Jain.

A breakdown of the figures reveal that in 2015, Delhi Government had a whopping Rs 50.65 crore in its kitty which rose up to Rs 386 crore in 2016, and in 2017, it stood at a little over Rs 787 crore.

As per directions of the Supreme Court, these funds must be used in specific ways like augmenting the public transport system in order to fight pollution.

The Delhi Government has not denied this. AAP MLA and spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “Delhi Government has never said we do not have the money to tackle pollution. We have, instead said, we have budget to buy buses, but no space to park. We have also said that we are even ready for to pay for aerial water sprinkling, we just need support from the Central Government and Civil Aviation Ministry (sic).”





Delhi Government has said the Environmental Cess funds will be used to buy 500 electric buses in the next one year. But it does not have enough land to park the additional fleet of buses that it would acquire.

The Delhi cabinet has also approved the procurement of 2,000 new buses recently. Transport minister Kailash Gahlot has also requested L-G Anil Baijal for an additional 135 acres of land that will serve as depots to park the new buses. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a meeting on Tuesday, directed officers to move fast on augmenting the public transport system.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Ajay Maken termed the state government’s argument as an excuse, adding that when he was the transport minister Delhi had adequate land to park 6,000 buses. ​
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