NGT demands logical explanation for Odd-Even exemption, Delhi govt withdraws petition

Over the past few days the Delhi government and the NGT have been locking horns over the implementation of odd-even scheme in the national capital in order to put a cap on the alarming air pollution levels. "This may affect the safety and security of women drivers also", the application, which is likely to be heard on Tuesday, said.

According to the Newspaper, When nobody from the Delhi government came forward, Justice Kumar said, "Are you approaching us or was the minister's statement only for the press".

Earlier in the day, the green panel had refused to exempt women and two-wheelers and ordered that diesel vehicles over ten years old be taken off the roads immediately.

The Aam Aadmi Party Government on Monday filed a review petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), requesting it to reconsider its objection to exclusion of women and two-wheelers in the Odd-Even scheme, following which the Government had cancelled its roll-out.

Defending its demand for exemption for women drivers from the odd-even scheme, the Delhi government pointed to the comfort of women drivers and continued to demand it in the new petition.

It also questioned the city government's undertaking on the procurement of 4000 buses. Stating it did not have enough public transport as of now to accommodate the extra commuters - over 30 lakh during the odd-even if two-wheelers were not exempted, the Delhi government said the process of procuring new buses was ongoing.

Rapping the Delhi government for its plea, the tribunal asked why should exemption be given to two-wheelers when they are a major cause of pollution.

Following the tribunal's order, the Delhi government withdrew its petition around noon.

"Choose one place in Delhi by 4 p.m. and sprinkle water and thereafter calculate the particle pollution to know how much difference does it make", the tribunal said. The government will file a fresh appeal of exemptions on Wednesday.

According to data from System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research, six out of 10 monitoring stations across the NCR fell out of "severe" zone to "very poor".

Vanessa Coleman