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Bihar govt. to ban diesel-run autorickshaws in Patna from 2021

Like Delhi, air pollution in Patna, too, has reached the ‘severe’ level

With air pollution turning severe in Patna over the last few days, the Bihar government on Wednesday decided to ban diesel-run autorickshaws from 2021 in the State capital and its adjoining areas. Earlier, the government had also declared a ban on all commercial and State-owned vehicles older than 15 years. The government also decided to launch an intensive drive to conduct pollution tests on private vehicles.

“All diesel-run autorickshaws will be banned from January 31, 2021 in Patna and its adjoining areas like Danapur, Khagaul and Phulwariesharief from March 31, 2019…The government, though, will promote CNG (compressed natural gas), electric and battery-run autos in their place…Later, this will be implemented in other parts of the State as well,” State Transport Secretary Sanjay Agarwal told journalists in Patna after the government took the decision at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Conversion subsidy

Mr. Agarwal further said, “The government would also provide a subsidy to those who will convert their petrol or diesel three-wheelers into CNG-operated vehicles.”

Like Delhi, air pollution in Patna, too, reached the “severe” level, with the Air Quality Index crossing over 400 after the festivals of Diwali and Chhath Puja, showed Central Pollution Control Board data. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had called a meeting of top officials and environmental experts to assess the situation. He has also focused on tree planting in the city.

Mainly vehicular?

“Though there is are no industries in the periphery of Patna, we still get severe pollution. It must be because of vehicular pollution in the city where mostly autorickshaws and city transport buses fume diesel pollution into the air with no check by the authorities,” said a city businessman Arvind Jha, who a few days ago had to visit a doctor for his throat infection. “It’s very difficult to go outside and breathe in a non-metro city like Patna during morning and evening time,” he added.

These day​s, most people, especially students, are seen wearing masks while going outside.

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