<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war of words between the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and the Delhi government intensified on Friday as EPCA chief Bhure Lal, retorting to Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot charges on Thursday, said that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government “has done too little to improve public transport in the city.”In a letter to Gahlot on Friday, the EPCA chief wrote, “Delhi is in dire need of improved public transport, namely buses and last mile connectivity, but little action has been taken on this front,” said Lal. He further said, it is imperative that the government takes urgent and decisive steps to augment the bus fleet and improve itsfunctioning.”The EPCA’s response came after Gahlot’s charge that they “kept quiet over obligations of the National Capital Region (NCR) states to combat pollution. Gahlot had written to the EPCA chief on Thursday urging him to implement the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in neighbouring states as well in order to bring down pollution levels.On the issue of public transport, the AAP government had said that they are unable to move on bus procurement because of the unavailability of land for bus parking. However, Lal countered this saying that despite getting the required land to park 2,000 buses from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the government has still failed to procure these buses.”The lack of public transport also meant that the implementation of GRAP has been weakened. We have had to remove the parking charge hike, because of lack of public transport alternatives as well as for the lack of enforcement against illegal and unauthourised parking,” he wrote.Also, on the government’s insistence to make neighbouring states also implement Odd-Even road rationing scheme to improve air quality, Lal said, “Odd-Even is only an ’emergency’ and short-term measure while if the government takes the long-term measures, it may not need to take emergency action at all.”WHAT IS THE GRAP?The GRAP prepared by the EPCA — a Supreme Court mandated body — has the Odd-Even road rationing scheme listed as a measure to be taken during ‘emergency’ levels of air pollution. The first implementation of GRAP, he said, has resulted in up to 15-20 per cent of reduction in pollution.AQI IN DELHI-NCR ON FRIDAYDelhi 310 (very poor) Ghaziabad 378 (very poor) Gurgaon 307 (very poor) Noida 286 (poor)Faridabad 291(poor)

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Scale up public transport: EPCA