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SC Calls Rising Air Pollution in Delhi 'Emergency-like Situation', Seeks Answers From Centre Too

The Delhi government has filed a review petition with the National Green Tribunal, urging it exempt women drivers and two-wheelers from its proposed odd-even car rationing scheme.

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Updated:November 13, 2017, 6:03 PM IST
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SC Calls Rising Air Pollution in Delhi 'Emergency-like Situation', Seeks Answers From Centre Too
People cross the road in Delhi on November 7, during heavy smog (Reuters/ Saumya Khandelwal)
New Delhi: The Supreme court on Monday pulled up the Centre and the Delhi government on rising air pollution, saying it was an "emergency-like" situation.

The Delhi government has filed a review petition with the National Green Tribunal, urging it exempt women drivers and two-wheelers from its proposed odd-even car rationing scheme.

The Kejriwal-led government contends that bringing women drivers under the ambit of odd-even could imperil their security while barring two-wheelers would add to the burden of the public transport system.

New York-based Columbia University researcher V Faye McNeill opines that odd-even restrictions have to apply to two-wheelers and three-wheelers for the scheme to succeed.

The associate professor of Chemical Engineering in the institute said the impact of the odd-even scheme fizzles out eventually as drivers find ways around the restrictions.

"Two-and-three wheelers, especially those with two-stroke engines that run on mixed fuel, are important sources of pollution and they shouldn't be missed in air quality policy. They should be included in the restrictions if there is any hope for the odd-even scheme to have an impact," McNeill said.

The apex court sought an explanation from the Centre and Delhi government and questioned Punjab and Haryana on stubble burning on a plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR). The top court also clarified that the odd-even matter would be heard the NGT.

“Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and the Cabinet are in touch with environmental scientists and experts. We are constantly monitoring the situation. Construction works are under scrutiny and water sprinkling is on,” Delhi minister Gopal Rai said.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that there won't be any stay on matters pertaining to pollution which are going on before any other court.

The plea also sought a direction to promote solar energy and electric vehicles to check pollution.
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