Millennium Post

Delhi government's new review petition seeks odd-even in other states, too

New Delhi: Hours after the green court turned down its first review petition seeking exemptions in the odd-scheme, the Delhi government on Tuesday filed a second review application demanding that the vehicle restriction scheme be implemented in NCR as well.
Earlier in the day, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) turned down the Delhi government's plea to exempt women drivers and two-wheelers from the odd-even vehicle restriction scheme, saying there was "no logic" to the proposal.
But, coming up with its second review petition, the Delhi government tried to address the "logic" for seeking the exemptions and sought implementation of the odd-even scheme in the neighbouring states as well, or at least part of NCR, including places in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, stating that they had a cumulative effect on Delhi's air.
"Direct neighbouring states to implement odd-even scheme," the new review petition of the Delhi government read.
Defending exemption for women drivers from the odd-even scheme, the Delhi government pointed to "comfort" of women as the logic and continued seeking it in the new petition.
"Such women will not feel comfortable while travelling in heavily crowded buses," the petition stated.
The city government also came up with a defence for two-wheelers, stating that it would need at least 2,500 additional buses to accommodate women and two-wheeler riders, which it currently did not have.
According to the government, there are over 68 lakh two-wheelers in Delhi, out of which 25 lakh ply on roads everyday.
The new petition pointed out that the shortage of buses would be largely resolved in a year and sought exemption until then.
"Exempt two-wheelers and women drivers for one year or till another 2,000 buses are engaged," the Delhi government requested.
Earlier, the Tribunal rapped the Delhi government for its first review plea that it filed on Tuesday, asking why should exemption be given to two-wheelers -- the major cause of pollution -- and why the government could not run special busses to accommodate women drivers
"On what basis, are you asking exemption for two-wheelers," asked NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.
On Delhi government counsel Tarunvir Singh Khehar raising the issue of women's security, the tribunal said: "Why don't you run Women's Special buses?"
The tribunal also rapped the Delhi government over "delay" in the procurement of 4,000 additional buses and noted that sprinkling of water on pollution hotspots was not being done properly.
"Why don't you act upon those who are responsible for pollution? How many people have you penalised or challaned so far," Justice Kumar said.
Following the tribunal's order, the Delhi government withdrew its petition around noon.
The Tribunal said the Delhi government could move a "fresh petition" before it on the traffic restriction scheme, which it did hours later.

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