No exemption from odd-even next time, Delhi assures NGT
Taking cognisance on rising values of pollutants in city air, the Delhi Government on Wednesday assured the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that it will implement the next odd-even traffic rationing scheme with no exemption to women and two-wheelers. This is in accordance with the tribunal’s direction.
Further, during the hearing, the NGT directed the Delhi Government and neighbouring States to clarify their action plans and how they would implement the Graded Resp-onse Action Plan (GRAP) given the severity of the air quality. Green court also sought clarifications from neighbouring States over odd-even scheme.
It may be noted that in November, when Delhi witnessed severe-plus or emergency air quality situation that calls for implementation of odd-even scheme under GRAP, the NGT directed the Delhi Government to implement the road rationing scheme without any exemptions for two-wheelers and women drivers.
The Delhi Government then filed a review plea stating that it sought exemptions due to inadequate numbers of public buses. However, later the city Government demanded that the odd-even scheme shall come in entire NCR region and not just Delhi.
“We will implement the odd-even scheme next time as directed by the tribunal, which is no exemptions,” the Delhi Government counsel Tarunvir Singh Khehar said.
However, appreciating the city Government, the Bench headed by NGT chief Justice Swatanter Kumar has sought more clarity.
“Odd-even will come when the air-quality is beyond severe but what about other days? How would you implement GRAP when air quality is very poor... Sit with your respective chief secretaries and make a plan,” Justice Kumar directed the Delhi Government and neighbouring States -- Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
On November 24, the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) already made it clear that the next odd-even vehicle rationing scheme will be applied across the national capital region (NCR), including Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and not just Delhi, with minimum exemptions.
The EPCA had also asked the respective concerned officials of NCR for augmentation of the public transport for odd-even with minimum exemptions -- (ambulance and school buses).
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