Millennium Post

NGT refuses to exempt women, two-wheelers

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday refused to exempt women and two-wheelers from the Delhi government's odd-even car rationing scheme and directed it to ensure that over 10-year-old diesel vehicles be taken off the roads without delay.
Late on Tuesday evening, the Delhi government on Tuesday filed a fresh review petition before the National Green Tribunal in connection with the odd-even policy. In the second petition, the Delhi government stuck to its request of exempting women drivers and two-wheelers for a year or give them the time to add 2,000 buses to the state's transport system. The Delhi government also proposed that the green tribunal direct Delhi's neighbouring states to implement the odd-even scheme.
The tribunal, which expressed concern over the high pollution level which was an "environmental and health emergency", said the city should "not gift infected lungs to its children."
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also asked the Aam Aadmi Party government here to identify the most polluted areas and sprinkle water from high rise buildings.
The bench, however, allowed non-polluting industries who manufacture essential goods to operate.
During the hearing, the NGT also asked what the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were doing other than blaming each other.
The Delhi government had on Monday moved an application before the bench seeking modification of its November 11 order allowing odd-even scheme without exemptions.
Regarding functioning of industries in the NCR, the bench said "we clarify that industries manufacturing essential commodities like eatables have been exempted from the prohibiting orders of the NGT.
"We also direct that the industries whose emissions are within the prescribed parameters and which are non-polluting and compliant to the directions can operate subject to verification."
It also allowed the construction work of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway in the NCR, which will bypass Delhi on the eastern side, subject to an assurance by the senior-most officer of the NHAI that no pollution would be caused.
Expressing anguish over the plea seeking permission to exempt women drivers from the odd-even scheme, the NGT asked "are you (Delhi government) not responsible for the safety of ladies who do not have cars and travel by metros and buses? Why can't you have a special ladies buses?"

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