Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia presented the Budget for 2018-’19 in the state Assembly on Thursday, calling it “India’s first green Budget” with an aim to reduce nearly 21 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide this year. The government will also consult a team from World Bank to be able to forecast pollution levels, Sisodia said.
Sisodia, who holds the finance portfolio in the Aam Aadmi Party government, said the government has proposed 905 electric vehicles to ensure last-mile connectivity from metro stations, and 1,000 electric buses to encourage public transport. Delhi will also monitor real-time data on pollution in the city this year.
The government announced a 26-point plan across the transport, power, environment and public works departments to control pollution.
Delhi’s air pollution problem finds itself at the centre of the Budget after weeks of hazardous air quality and smog in November and December 2017 prompted Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to call the city a “gas chamber”.
Apart from pollution, the Budget also focuses on the education sector. The government allocated 26% of the Rs 53,000-crore Budget to education, and Rs 175 crore for the installation of closed-circuit television cameras in schools, Sisodia said.
He also said schools would hold workshops on parenting to prevent incidents such as the suicide of a schoolgirl on Tuesday. Sisodia added that the government wanted to make Delhi the country’s education capital, The Indian Express reported.
The government allocated 13% of the total budget to the municipal corporations in Delhi, and an additional Rs 1,000 crore for repairing roads. Rs 403 crore was allotted to mohalla clinics and polyclinics
The per-capita income of Delhi rose 9.4% during 2017-’18, Sisodia said.