Millennium Post

Odd-Even: NGT again rejects plea to exempt two-wheelers

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday, for the second time, dismissed the Delhi government's review plea seeking exemption for two-wheelers in the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme, saying such a relaxation would defeat the purpose of improving Delhi's ambient air quality.
The AAP-led government had filed the same review petition earlier, but was rejected by the NGT. The green court had then suggested the government to bring more buses to ensure security of women in the time of odd-even.
The government has accordingly planned to buy 2,000 more buses, which could increase to 4,000.
"It is undisputed before us that there are over 60 lakh two-wheelers in Delhi. The number also consists of two-wheelers which are very old and their emissions are beyond prescribed limits," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
"It also cannot be disputed that emissions from two-wheelers are also a major source of pollution. The exemptions sought would defeat the entire purpose of improving the air quality of Delhi," the bench said.
Under the odd-even scheme, odd numbered vehicles ply on odd numbered days and even numbered vehicles ply on even numbered days.
The NGT also directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to introduce more buses in its fleet, as per the Supreme Court order, and strengthen the public transport system.
The tribunal had earlier sought a "workable solution" from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to combat air pollution.
It had, on December 6, slammed governments of Delhi and its neighbouring states over lack of an action plan to deal with the severe air quality and directed them to file a detailed document to tackle the problem.
It had observed that air pollution was never at 'normal' level in the national Capital and directed the neighbouring states to file the action plan afresh.
The counsel for the Delhi government had filed the plan, which recommended implementation of the odd-even plan, ban on construction works and disallowing children from playing outside when air quality turns severe.
Meanwhile, the counsel for petitioner Vardhaman Kaushik – who had filed the plea against worsening air quality in Delhi –said the action plans submitted by the states were merely "an eyewash" and they have only "copy-pasted" the recommendations of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.
Earlier, the NGT had directed the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and every state pollution control board to file ambient air quality analysis before it on a monthly basis.

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