Air Pollution, Traffic Congestion Will the Govts Heed Expert Opinion ?

Hyderabad, March 8 (P.A. Rama Rao): The Minister for Environment and Forests A Indrakaran Reddy  has done well in directing the officials to file criminal cases  against the industries and hospitals which are adding to pollution woes and also take steps  for ensure a No-plastic State.
At a review meeting on Tuesday, he said the Chief Minister KCR is working hard to protect environment. The Minister has also directed that old and obsolete vehicles  releasing high amounts of carbon into  the atmosphere should be  junked and  added that the officials should take up inspections to identify such vehicles. 
            These measures, no doubt, are the need of the hour and brooks no delay by any stretch of imagination.  As a matter of fact, it is high time the officials  and the Government acted on measures to protect the environment.  In this context, it is necessary to point out  one more important aspect of putting a ceiling on the number of vehicles, new private cars in particular,  in cities, not only to protect the  environment  from air pollution but also to ease the traffic congestion.  
            It is a matter of irony that the powers-that-be both at the Centre and in the States  have failed to take note of the views expressed by  experts in this matter. It was  in November 2017,  that Prof Shivanand Swamy,  expert in Public Transport sector and Director of Centre for Excellence in Urban Transport, had   emphasized  that increase  in private cars  would cause not only traffic problems  but also pollution and health hazards, and hence  there was need on the part of the Governments to adopt a suitable strategy. Pointing out that some countries have already taken some steps in this direction, Prof Swamy opined that it is better to limit  the private cars and vehicles at the rate of 60 to 70 for every 1,000 population, and at any rate not more than 10 percent of a city’s population. He also said that this thinking might appear to be a radical one, but it is quite essential to curb air pollution. Will the  State and Central Governments  think on these lines at least now!! 

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