Raipur, June 24: In a bid to check air pollution, the Chhattisgarh government has decided to impose a ban on commercial vehicles like buses older than 12 years and trucks and auto-rickshaws which have been running for more than 10 years.
"Chief Minister Raman Singh has given directives to senior officials to undertake stern steps to control pollution and protect the environment in the interest of the masses," Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board Chairperson Aman Kumar Singh said yesterday.
Buses older than 12 years and trucks running for more than 10 years should not be given permits from now onwards and the owners will be given a time limit of one year to buy new vehicles for registration, he said. Registration would also not be done of more than eight years old vehicles coming from others states, he said.
Also, no permits will be sanctioned in Raipur, Durg-Bhilai and Bilaspur to autorickshaws which are more than 10-years old, he said The autorickshaw owners will be given a one-year period to convert their vehicles. After the expiry period, the owners will not be given permits.
Singh said that e-rickshaws will be encouraged by being provided financial assistance. In another important step to conserve the environment, an online monitoring of pollution levels of industrial units should be done, he said.
If the managements of industries violate guidelines more than twice a month, then steps should be taken to close down the defaulting units, he said. The Chief Minister has also directed the officials to prepare a master plan to curb pollution in the state capital Raipur, Singh said.
Raipur was listed as seventh top polluted cities in the world by World Health Organisation (WHO) last month. A strong action plan has been drafted which will help Raipur city to overcome pollution menace over the next two years, the official mentioned.
A master plan to handle solid waste material in Raipur would be prepared soon and the squatters residing in and around railway tracks would be provided free domestic gas connections under the Prime Minister's 'Ujjwala Project' to curb coal-induced pollution, he said.
"A survey will be conducted soon in this regard to distribute domestic gas connections. The chief minister has ordered the officials to launch a survey soon," Singh said. The government has also planned to plant 23.90 lakh saplings during monsoon in the capital this year while a sewage treatment plant will also be set up here to treat domestic waste, he added.