Each day, about 1,400 new vehicles hit the roads of New Delhi, already home to over seven million registered vehicles, a 65 percent jump from 2003. As a result, fine-particle pollution has risen by 47 percent in the last decade. Nitrogen dioxide levels have increased by 57 percent. The number of emergency visits relating to respiratory and heart problems has risen sharply.
Environmentalists recommend a hefty tax on diesel vehicles, a steep increase in parking charges and a rapid upgrade of the public transportation system to ensure more timely bus service and a better integration of buses and the metro rail system.