PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss on Sunday favoured free ride for all by government buses, promotion of electric vehicles and expansion of fleet of buses to 8,000 as part of a 34-point ‘Chennai Clean Air Action Plan’ released in Chennai and contended that its benefits would outweigh the costs involved.
The action plan featured extensive recommendations such as strict implementation of maintenance [schedule] and inspection of emission from vehicles, installation of remote sensing device to identify vehicles that exceed emission limits, conversion of diesel/petrol autos to LPG or electrical vehicles, soot-free busses, phasing out old vehicles and fitting of diesel particulate filter, improving public transport, creating a parking policy, ensuring first and last mile connectivity, implementation of smart signals, creation of Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority to implement transit oriented development, creating electric cehicle charging stations and devising Chennai electric vehicle policy and so on.
“The Tamil Nadu Government must take policy decision to implement these action plans — which are expert recommendations from the United Nations Environment Programme,” he told journalists.
According to him, there was lack of awareness about the impact of climate change among students and youths and there was a need to raise awareness.
Urging Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to pay special attention to environmental policy, he said: “65% of the air pollution in Chennai is from transportation. Modernise government transport by increasing the number of buses, buy electric vehicles and make it fully free. Everybody will use it (bus). The road accidents, air pollution, and the quality of roads will improve.”
Dr. Anbumani called for better construction of stormwater drains in Chennai.