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Quality, affordable and reliable transportation system the need of the hour: Puri

Puri said that states should take legal action against stubble burning and that the public should be discouraged to use private vehicles

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

Voicing concerns over the thick blanket of haze that has enveloped Delhi for the last three days, housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that states should take legal action against stubble burning and that the public should be discouraged to use private vehicles for which upgrading public transport is a must.

“Legal action must be taken by Punjab and Haryana against stubble burning in their states. But on our part we should not be lax. We have to encourage public to use public transport and that means upgrading public transport system. We have to provide quality public transport. Good quality buses should be procured to ensure public comfort. Their number should be increased. The aim should be quality, affordability and reliability,” he said, adding affordable does not mean free public transport “for where will capital expenditure come from.”

He also underlined the need for expediting work on the Metro Phase IV line and rapid rail system between the Capital and Meerut to improve public transport.

Asked about the recent hike in Metro fares, he said that 20 per cent discount -- ten per cent for metro card users and 10 per cent during off peak hours. “For eight years there was no increase in fares,” he said on the sidelines of the event to lay the foundation for a skywalk and foot overbridge at ‘W’ Point in ITO which is expected to be completed by March 2018.

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who was also present at the function, said that the odd-even car rationing scheme is a formula for traffic management, and not a solution to Delhi's high level of pollution that primarily caused due to dust and debris.

Her comments followed Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot announcement that the car rationing scheme would be enforced in Delhi for a five-day period from November 13 after a spike in air pollution level. "Odd-even formula can be a formula for traffic maintenance and management but not a formula to stop pollution," Lekhi, the New Delhi MP, told reporters.

Air pollution in Delhi is primarily on account of dust particles, construction debris, she said, adding that the menace was not because of vehicular emission.

She also said that pollution in Delhi is less than New York and that debris was the main cause of pollution here while it was due to gasses there. “We do not have that problem,” she said.

She called for improving public transport, proper waste management and containing encroachments to tackle the problem.
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