No exemption given under Odd-Even, Delhi govt tells Green Court


The tribunal took exception that Punjab and Haryana were following the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority's (EPCA's) comprehensive action plan and not applying their own mind.

The NGT had recently pulled up the Delhi government for its "lackadaisical" approach over rising pollution levels in the city.

An action plan submitted before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday by Delhi government listed 14 measures they would take when the air quality reached "severe plus" category.

The odd-even scheme, when implemented next time in the capital, could very well be without any exemptions.

They recommended no exemption be given under the odd-even auto rationing scheme in the state. Earlier, the government claims that the Delhi Pollution level increased due to the reason for burning crops. It also argued that public transportation was not equipped to accommodate so many two-wheeler drivers. The government also issued various directives in the new action plan including ban on entry of polluting heavy motor vehicles and temporary ban on construction.

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A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on Wednesday asked the Delhi government counsel to sit with the chief secretary and member secretary to formulate a detailed action plan which would also state the "normal" AQI levels for Delhi, in which there will be little to no health effects on people.

The tribunal noted that not a single First Information Report or FIR had been filed in connection with pollution. "The government only talks about challans (prosecution slips). but nothing is reflected on the ground", the tribunal admonished. Sri Lankan players wore masks as the air quality dipped, while some even vomited on field because of the pollution.

The NGT had made it clear that only emergency vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances can be granted an exemption.

Accordance with the highly dense air pollution level finally the Delhi government action plan submitted to the NGT after a month.