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AAP Government Had 787 Crore In Environment Cess, Spent Little, Finds RTI

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AAP Government Had 787 Crore In Environment Cess, Spent Little, Finds RTI

Delhi Government Had 787 Crore In Green Fund, Spent Little, Finds RTI

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Arvind Kejriwal has held farm fires in Punjab and Haryana for a large share of the pollution

New Delhi:  Over the last two years, the Delhi government earned 800 crores by taxing polluting trucks which entered the capital. But of that “environment compensation charge” or cess, less than one crore or 0.12 per cent was spent on fighting the pollution that has turned into a humongous crisis in the national capital.Since AAP took power in Delhi in 2015, Rs 93 lakh has been spent by the Delhi government from the environment cess, which is 0.12 per cent of the total amount.

“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.


Delhi air pollution: The Delhi High Court has told the Kejriwal government to increase the number of public transport buses that run with the clean fuel CNG

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 cloud of toxic smog, 10 times the recommended limit, has been blamed on a cocktail of construction dust, vehicle exhaust and illegal crop burning.

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.

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