Of 6500 BMTC buses, only 700 meet BS IV standards!

Bengaluru: "Urbanisation and migration of people to cities globally in search of jobs is the root cause of increase in air pollution. My government is trying to make the city livable," said G. Parameshwar, Deputy Chief Minister at the official meeting of the new C40 Air Quality Network on cleaning up toxic air.

BBMP is looking to commit Rs 20 crore towards building a robust Air Quality Management Plan. In December, city Mayor Sampath Raj and London Mayor Sadiq Khan had announced that London and Bengaluru would lead a global partnership of up to 20 other world cities on tackling air pollution in urban centres.

Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) Chairman Lakshman said the Coordination Committee and Task Force Committee often reviews the action to tackle air pollution and claimed it has brought down the PM 2.5 concentration to a large extent.

"Though we have not reached the stage of Delhi, but more needs to be done to avoid that scenario. Metro has reduced pollution by 13% and the board is urging the industries to switch to clean fuel," he added.

In a three-day workshop that has participation from over 14 countries including Germany, US, Israel, Japan and Poland a wide discussion on tackling the global concern with a concerted attempt was aimed at.

BMTC buses belching smoke
BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad pointed to the discrepancy in the BMTC has over 6,500 buses, but only 700 comply with BS IV emission standards.

"Fund is not a problem but we need technical competitiveness. When the data is made available in the public domain about the rising pollution, the citizens' will demand the government to take stringent measures. Frothing in lakes is visible to the people, but since air pollution is not so visible, there is no vigorous reaction from the public," he added.

The city aims to transition to an all-electric bus fleet by 2030 and the government has already planned to install 80 fast charging stations to for electric vehicles.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the governments have failed to maintain a balance between the population and the infrastructure and in educating its citizens about the ramifications of air pollution.

"Only by working together and using the knowledge and experience we have as cities tackling this crucial issue can we make real progress in cleaning up our toxic air," said London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Shirley Rodrigues. 

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