- National Green Tribunal clears Odd-Even 3.0 from November 13-17
- No exemptions for two-wheelers, women drivers, government vehicles
- NGT asked government to prove success of Odd-Even in reducing pollution
New Delhi: National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given a go ahead to the implementation of odd-even scheme in Delhi from Monday, November 13 but with major changes. There will be no exemptions for two-wheelers, women drivers or government servants. Only emergency service vehicles will be exempted. On Friday, NGT had slammed Delhi government’s decision to bring back odd-even scheme in the wake of Delhi’s pollution crisis, which escalated to a smog this week. “Odd-Even formula can’t be imposed like this. Nothing has been done from the Delhi Government’s end since the past one year,” said the Tribunal.
Questioning the government’s decision, the Green Court further said,
Supreme Court never asked for imposition of the Odd-Even scheme. Both, Supreme Court and NGT have suggested 100 of different measures to curb pollution in the city, but the government always opts for odd-even.
The court also added,
This time, Delhi Government will have to justify the implementation of this scheme. They will have to prove whether the scheme previously has reduced pollution levels in the city or else the court will stay the imposition of the scheme.
However, the Aam Aadmi Party strongly defended its government’s decision to bring back the odd-even road-rationing scheme, saying vehicular pollution was the biggest source of ultrafine particulate matters measuring less than 2.5 microns. AAP’s Delhi unit convener and Labour Minister Gopal Rai said “creating awareness” was the biggest success of the previous two rounds of the scheme, while alleging there were multiple attempts to “sabotage” its second round, enforced in April last year.
Mr Rai further stated that PM 2.5, of which vehicular combustion is a major source, is a pollutant that chokes the lungs and leads to other respiratory diseases. PM10 is also another major pollutant but that is the usually the dust on the roads and dust in itself is not harmful.
Suggesting other strict actions to combat Air Pollution in the city, the green court has asked the government to impose Rs 1 lakh fine on builders found violating directions, as construction work had been halted in view of smog and air pollution.
The Green court had also directed other states like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to ensure that there is no crop burning. “If any incident is reported to NGT, a considerable amount of fine will be charged from salary of responsible officer,” said the NGT court.
For now as precautionary step to tackle Air Pollution in the city apart from the return of Odd-Even scheme, Delhi government had banned the construction activities and the entry of heavy vehicles like trucks in the city. City schools are shut till Sunday.
(With inputs from PTI)