Delhi govt takes a U-turn, calls off odd-even scheme

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today said it would examine at 2 PM today the Delhi government's decision to roll out odd-even vehicle rationing scheme for five days starting from November 13.

In the afternoon today, the NGT chaired a meet to examine the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government's odd-even auto rationing scheme for five days, starting from November 13.

While the Delhi government counsel also asked the Tribunal if they shall drop the idea of odd-even as Delhi's air quality was improving, the Tribunal asked the government to take a call, saying: "We are not going to give you a shelter on this one. Tell us if the 500 new buses you are putting on the roads are diesel vehicles or CNG", the green court said. "The number of buses that would have been available during the odd-even scheme is not totally adequate even for the present demand".

After the NGT order, the Delhi government said it will approach the top green court again on Monday and request that exemptions be given for women drivers and two-wheelers, and subject to its decision, the government will "consider implementing it again".

Even as the NGT gave its go-ahead to Odd-Even, it observed that water sprinkling was a better way of curbing pollution. The government does not want to take risks with women security.

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The NGT also asked the Delhi Traffic Police to deploy its personnel at traffic lights, observing that nearly all the main roads in the city are witness to diesel vehicles which are older than 10 years and petrol vehicles which are older than 15 years. Dust is not entering from other states and stubble burning has also come to an end. "I know public transport suffers from several issues, but we need to start thinking and act before it is too late".

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked Delhi government to provide details of the benefits during the earlier implementation of the scheme.

This decision has come as a result of rising air pollution in Delhi, and an attempt to reduce vehicular pollution in the city.

The national capital is experiencing "severe" air quality under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels have breached permissible standards by multiple times.