As per the RTI reply, a breakdown of the figures reveal that in 2015, Delhi Government had a whopping Rs.50.65 crore in its kitty which rose up to Rs.386 crore in 2016 and in 2017, it stood at a little over Rs.787 Crore.
The RTI petition was filed by activist Sanjeev Jain!!!
As per directions of the Supreme Court, these funds must be used in specific ways like augmenting the public transport system in order to fight on pollution.
The Delhi Government has not denied this. Aam Aadmi Party MLA and spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “Delhi Government has never said we do not have the money to tackle pollution.”
Instead, we have said “We have budget to buy buses but no space to park. We have also said that we are even ready for to pay for aerial water sprinkling, we just need support from the Central Government and Civil Aviation Ministry (sic).”
He has tweeted that “we have money and intention to buy buses. But don’t have a place to park. Centre not allotting land to Delhi govt”.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met his Haryana counterpart Manohar LalKhattar on Wednesday to discuss ways to fight the grave issue of air pollution. Over the past few days, Kejriwal has been seeking help from Khattar, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and the Centre to look for ways to help the national capital that has turned into a gas chamber.
The Kejriwal government has blamed stubble burning by farmers in neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab as the prime cause behind the ever deteriorating air quality index of Delhi.
Is Kejriwal Government really Serious for the fight against pollution?
The non-serious approach of the Kejriwal government towards fighting the menace of corruption has been exposed through a Right to Information (RTI) query. An RTI has revealed that the Delhi government earned Rs 787 crore as environment cess from 2015 to 2017. However, only Rs 93 lakh was utilized in 2016. Not a single penny has been used in 2017 so far to provide fresh air to Delhiites.
As per the RTI, Rs 93 lakh was paid to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) for payment towards pre-tendering incidental cost related to preparation of RFID documents.
The RTI information certainly raises questions over the Kejriwal government’s intention over the issue of fighting air pollution.
The Delhi cabinet has also approved the procurement of 2000 new buses recently!!!
Meanwhile, Congress leader Ajay Maken termed the state government’s argument as an excuse, adding that when he was the transport minister Delhi had adequate land to park 6000 buses.
“Why should anyone be exempt from the Odd-Even plan? Are you really serious about the environment? Why don’t you act upon those who are responsible for pollution? How many people have you penalized so far,” the green court asked the government.