RTI reveals that Kejriwal-led AAP government spent only Rs 93 lakh of the Rs 787 crore green fund
As the city continues to struggle with its day-to-day functioning due to its pollution, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has been busy arranging meetings with the chief ministers of the neighbouring states. What might seem as persistent efforts made by the CM on social media, might not be revealing the full picture. The Delhi government has Rs 787 crore worth of green fund in its kitty. This amount was collected as 'green tax' to combat pollution and develop public transportation in the city, a report by Times of India mentions. However, an RTI revealed that the Kejriwal-led AAP government spent only Rs 93 lakh out of that Rs 787 crore.
According to reports, this RTI was filed by an individual called Sanjeev Jain. The amount of Rs 93 lakh was given to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation for payment towards preparation of documents for radio-frequency identification system at toll plazas, mentioned a report in Times of India.
In 2015, the Delhi government received Rs 50 crore as environment cess, which increased to Rs 386 crore in 2016 and eventually Rs 787 crore in 2017.
In fact, the Supreme Court had ordered the Delhi government to increase the fleet of buses from 5,000 to 10,000 - in July 1998. On Monday, the Delhi High Court noted that even 19 years later, the target has not been met. The Times of India report mentions that instead of increasing the number of buses, the DTC fleet has shrunk from 5,121 buses in 2010 to 3,944 buses currently.
The government mentioned that Delhi does not have sufficient parking space to accommodate such a large fleet.
Reports mention that the unused fund now will be used to procure 500 low-floored, AC, electric buses.
Meanwhile, air quality in Delhi remained 'severe' on Wednesday and reports mention that if the trend continues then emergency measures levied to curb 'hazardous' pollution levels might be lifted.