Odd-even gets NGT nod; no exemptions for two-wheelers, women, govt servants

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The odd-even rule mandates that the on odd dates, only odd numbered vehicles will ply on the roads while on even dates, only even numbered vehicles will be allowed to ply on Delhi roads.

The NGT also termed the odd-even scheme with these exemptions a farce as the Delhi government also failed to provide data related to its usefulness from its earlier experiences. Resorting to the odd-even scheme as a stop-gap arrangement will only work to disillusion the public from its marginal efficacy.

Significantly, the odd-even scheme was the only pollution control measure mentioned in the severe category of the GRAP, which the Delhi government could implement on its own right.

The AAP government had said it would file a review petition against the NGT's decision rejecting most exemptions given under the Odd-Even scheme, including those to two-wheelers and women. While the NGT was keen on having the scheme implemented without any exception, the government understood that its public transportation was not up to the task of bearing the added pressure that would come from banning two-wheelers. The takeaway is fairly simple: Do not attempt easy solutions for complex, seemingly intractable problems. The Green Court suggested that the implementation of odd-even scheme makes sense when the PM-10 level is above 500 micrograms per cubic metre and the PM-2.5 goes above 300 micrograms per cubic metre. "You have not followed 99 directions and introduced the odd-even scheme", the Bench said.

On Saturday, the air quality in Delhi-NCR region showed slight improvement towards the afternoon but the pollution levels shot up again later.

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Stopping trucks from entering Delhi is almost impossible for the government as there is no alternative for these heavy vehicles to pass by without entering the capital city.

Earlier, NGT on Friday asked the Delhi government to submit data or studies on the basis of which it has planned to introduce the odd-even vehicle rationing formula from next week.

The AAP government had on Saturday announced that it will approach the National Green Tribunal on Monday with a review petition on the Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme. "We are hoping it would get better tomorrow (Sunday)", Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) chairperson Bhure Lal told IANS.

Even before it took off, the Delhi government made a decision to roll back on its odd-even scheme. It also seeks effective implementation of the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme.

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