Delhi defers odd-even scheme

Odd-even scheme: Delhi government announces free bus service, DTC has 1 bus for 45000 people

The Green panel directed the counsel appearing for the Delhi government to be ready with all the requisite data and show before it the reason for implementing the latest odd-even scheme.

"This government gives highest priority to the safety and security of women".

Hours after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) gave a go-ahead to the odd-even scheme without any exemptions to two-wheelers, the Delhi government refused to implement it, saying they will approach the green court again on Monday. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has already likened the city to a "gas chamber".

The NGT on Friday had asked the Delhi government to submit before it the results of the earlier two phases of the odd-even.

Delhi government had chose to implement the odd-even scheme for five days from November 13 to 17. Moreover, the entry of heavy vehicles from other states make the roads in Delhi congested with an increase in pollution levels. "Act immediately or we will attach government treasury", it said.

"Further, this government feels that considering the large number of two-wheelers in Delhi, unless adequate number of buses are available, implementation of odd-even will cause great hardship to such persons". It also asked the Delhi government to explain why women and two-wheelers have been exempted from the odd-even scheme.

"The odd-even will go on". The tribunal said that in spite of several measures suggested by the apex court and the tribunal, the Delhi government failed to implement any of the suggestions. The state government would prefer, as in the earlier versions, to allow women and two-wheelers to use the road at will. The tribunal directed to implement the odd-even "right away" without waiting for 48 hours, in case PM2.5 and PM10 go beyond 400 and 700 units respectively. "Now we will decide what you have to do", NGT told the Kejriwal government.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recorded "severe" air quality, meaning that the intensity of pollution was extreme. "No exemption of any kind to anyone, including two-wheelers, women, public officers or politicians, except essential services", NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said on Saturday.

"Why wasn't this implemented when the air quality index had become bad?" the NGT said.

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