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As Delhi struggles to breathe, government plugs Rs 787-crore 'green' fund

As Delhi struggles to breathe, government plugs Rs 787-crore 'green' fund

The "green tax" to be spent on measures to battle the killer pollution that grips the city every year and augment public transport lies unused even as the Delhi Transport Corporation has not procured a single bus since 2010.

The Delhi government has made a decision to offer over 40 government services ranging from grant of water connection to marriage certificate at people's doorstep, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Thursday.

"In the meeting, the chief minister expre-ssed deep displeasure and pulled up officers over delay in procurement of buses despite the fact the court had asked the city administration to maintain a fleet of at least 11,000 buses many years ago to boost public transport", an official said.

The BJP leader's remarks came a day after a Right to Information reply put the Delhi government in a spot on non-utilisation of Rs 787 crore collected as environmental cess during 2017.

Under the new project, if a person wanted a certificate from the government, he would have to telephone a call centre. The funds collected are meant to be used for energy efficient public transport services and vehicles and for investing in energy efficient appliances at public spaces and energy sources.

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On the other hand, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is busy in blaming other states government for not cooperating with his administration to ensure that Delhities breathe fresh air.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government said it had prepared a one-year short-term plan to tackle air pollution. "Around Rs 787 crore has been received".

The Congress leader pointed out they could have bought new buses with this money, and also augmented total parking capacity of the bus depots.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the average AQI of Delhi-NCR at 6 p.m was 353 on Wednesday while the major pollutant PM 2.5 (particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm) was recorded 353 units - technically considered "very poor".

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