Delhi government seeks exemptions for odd-even this year

Nov 14, 2017, 00:42
Delhi government seeks exemptions for odd-even this year

To reduce the pollution level, the Delhi government had ordered the implementation of the odd-even rationing of vehicles from today.

On November 11, the NGT gave a conditional nod to the Delhi government's proposal to implement the odd-even scheme for five days starting from November 13.

India's smog-choked capital has called off a plan to restrict private vehicle use after the country's top environmental court ruled women, VIPs and two-wheelers could not be exempt.

There were speculations that the Delhi government may not file a review petition against the NGT order as a separate petition filed by a citizen is up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon.

"In light of the two conditions by NGT on two-wheelers and women, at the moment we are calling it off. We will go back to NGT on Monday, file a review petition for them to reconsider their decision regarding the two", said Gehlot. The state government, however, said it will not implement the scheme from Monday as planned, and will approach the green court again, asking it to allow the exemptions.

Since Tuesday morning, Delhi was covered with thick smog, following which health officials issued advisory to elderly and children to avoid venturing out.

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Saturday heard the Delhi government's arguments on the scheme's effectiveness and accordingly took its decision.

The court also directed various departments and executing agencies, including the Delhi police, for better cooperation and coordination during the odd-even scheme. The government, he added, does not have enough public transport alternatives to accommodate over 6 million two-wheelers. The AAP had alleged that the subtle burning in Punjab and Haryana, was the main cause of the rising pollution in Delhi.

The "odd-even" scheme, introduced temporarily previous year, says vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers can only be driven on odd-numbered dates, and those with even-numbers on others.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi's air quality was above the required limits for over 50 hours by 3.00 p.m on Monday. The NGT has repeatedly asked the Delhi government to prove the worth of the odd-even plan in case of air pollution.

The toxicity in the air rose to "severe-plus" category on a day schools in the national capital reopened after remaining closed since Thursday due to "severe" air pollution levels.

Delhi is considered to be the most polluted city in the world. Pollution in Delhi gets aggravated during winter months.