VIJAYAWADA: The state government will gradually phase out 10,000 diesel run buses being plied by the APSRTC. Initially, 1,000 buses will be taken off the road and they will be replaced by an equal number of electric buses.
Then gradually, more buses will be added to the fleet. This exercise by the APSRTC is part of its efforts to streamline the public transportation system and make it pollution-free in the state.
Addressing a large gathering of people including students at Perecherla in Guntur district to mark the 70th Vana Mahotsvam on Saturday, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed his intent to address the increasing environmental pollution from various sources in the state.
The Chief Minister said that as his first move, he wanted to withdraw 1,000 diesel-run RTC buses and replace them with electric buses so that it would help contain environmental pollution to some extent.
Addressing a large gathering of people including students at Perecherla in Guntur district to mark the 70th Vana Mahotsvam on Saturday, the Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed his intent to address the increasing environmental pollution from various sources in the state and added that as his first move, he wanted to withdraw 1,000 diesel-run RTC buses and replace them with electric buses so that it would help contain environmental pollution to some extent. He vowed to replace all 10,000 diesel-run buses in the state in due course of time.
Turning his attention to industrial pollution, the CM assured that all efforts would be made to restructure the functioning of AP Pollution Control Board to empower it. So the moment an application was received seeking permission to set up an industrial unit, it would be forwarded to the PCB to get environmental clearance. Only after clearance was issued, it would be permitted to be set up.
Similarly, the CM wanted to address the rising concerns on industrial waste especially from the pharma sector affecting the environment. He said that nearly one lakh tonnes of industrial waste was being generated from the sector but only 30,000 tonnes of this waste was undergoing an environmental audit. The CM wondered what was happening to the rest of the waste and whether it was being handled properly.
Mr Reddy called upon the people to plant three to four saplings instead of one and advised them to make efforts to ensure their survival in order to enhance the green cover in the state. Maintaining that AP was located in about 37,258 square kilometres of area, he said the forest cover was only 23 per cent against the Central norm of 33 per cent and made a fervent appeal to all to contribute their share by planting saplings to fill up the 10 per cent gap in forest cover in the state. He recollected a history lesson about Mauryan emperor Ashoka who had ordered for the planting of saplings on either side of the roads in his kingdom and said that the people still cherish his move even after centuries as it had helped to promote environment in a big way.
He said that they were going to plant 25 crore saplings all over the state in the current season and so far, four crore saplings were planted. He added that on Saturday alone, one crore saplings were planted all over the state to mark Vana Mahotsvam and further stated that village volunteers would be roped in for distribution of saplings to the people.
Laying stress on having adequate green cover, he said that the number of tigers had gone up by six (from 42 to 48 ) in the last five years in the state. He further added that people had learnt about Dinosaurs long after its extinction and cautioned that unless everybody participated in the plantation programme, the state would witness extinction of flora and fauna in due course of time.