“Around 787,12,67,000 has been received. But only a few lakhs have been spent,” said RTI activist Sanjeev Jain today.
AAP has said it will use the money to buy low-floor electric buses, a plan it says has been stuck because the centre has not helped with land.
“Though the government wanted to purchase buses, the central government did not allot land for bus depots,” said the party’s spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj.
The lion’s share of the cess comes from an environment compensation charge imposed on trucks entering Delhi following a Supreme Court order. The rest is from every litre of diesel sold.
The vast unutilised component has been held up by AAP’s critics as a sign that its pronouncements on tackling pollution are mainly bluster.
Last week, thick smog settled on Delhi, leaving residents complaining of breathlessness, smarting eyes and dizziness, and triggering emergency measures like the shutting of schools. The Kejriwal government blamed neighbouring Punjab and Haryana for farm fires in which farmers burn crop residue or stubble.
Chief Minister Kejriwal met his Haryana counterpart ML Khattar today after much sparring in public, and called it “fruitful”.
The government had declared that the odd-even plan would be brought back for a week to bring down pollution but the National Green Tribunal objected to exemptions for women and two-wheelers. The tribunal also wondered why the government had not added more buses in the city, as promised.