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Delhi Being Tagged As 'Worst Capital in World': NGT to Govt Before Allowing Odd-Even Scheme

Odd-Even will start on November 13, and go on till November 17, from 8 am to 8 pm. The NGT ordered that it would now be implemented when PM10 level is above 500 micrograms per cubic metre and PM2.5 above 300 micrograms per cubic metre.

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Updated:November 11, 2017, 3:06 PM IST
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Delhi Being Tagged As 'Worst Capital in World': NGT to Govt Before Allowing Odd-Even Scheme
Image for representational purposes. (PTI)
New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has given a grudging nod to the Delhi government to roll out the Odd-Even scheme for vehicles, aimed at lessening the number of cars on roads.

Odd-Even will start on November 13, and go on till November 17, from 8 am to 8 pm. This is the third time the Delhi government is using this strategy to control pollution in the city by cutting down vehicular emissions. The NGT ordered that it would now be implemented when PM 10 level is above 500 micrograms per cubic metre and PM2.5 above 300 micrograms per cubic metre.

The irate tribunal has, both, noted how Odd-Even’s supposed benefits were highly disputed, and asked the government why it hadn’t imposed it earlier. “You are only encouraging people to buy more vehicles and allowing more inter-state traffic. We will not allow Odd-Even vehicle rationalisation scheme until you prove that it’s not counter-productive,” said the bench yesterday.

In today’s hearing, however, the tribunal bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, gave his nod to Odd-Even with less exemptions than before. Women drivers and two-wheelers are no longer outside Odd-Even’s mandate and only CNG vehicles and emergency vehicles are exempt.

The tribunal came down heavily on the government’s tendency to use Odd-Even as a solution, saying, “You are getting the tag of the worst capital in the world. The Supreme Court and NGT have suggested hundred measures to curb pollution, but you always opt only for Odd-Even. Nothing has been done by the Delhi government in the past one year.”

The NGT also took issue with some of the measures suggested by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). “Measures like enhanced parking fee... to decrease pollution are absolutely absurd,” said the bench, asking EPCA to reconsider the four-fold rise in parking fee. It also questioned the highway authority (NHAI) and National Buildings Construction Corporation (India), as to why the bench shouldn’t impose exemplary cost for violating its order to suspend all construction activity.
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