NGT gives approval to Delhi government’s Odd-Even scheme

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Saturday gave its nod to Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government’s odd-even scheme after admonishing it for not testing the tribunal’s patience. While giving its nod to Odd-Evem scheme, the NGT made it clear that no exemption should be given to two-wheelers, government servants and women.

The NGT directed all the neighboring state governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and departments to ensure complete mechanism during the environmental emergencies adding that they should not wait for crisis situation. It also directed various departments and executing agencies for better cooperation and coordination including Delhi police.

NGT

While hearing a matter on Odd-Even scheme, the NGT bench headed by Justice Swatantra Kumar said that its patience should not be tested. The tribunal also asked the Delhi government that when the statistics had indicated that rain led to a fall in pollution levels, why wasn’t any action taken?

“It’s now being taken after the Tribunal said so,” the NGT said.

The Delhi government is being represented by advocate Tarunvir Kehar.

The NGT also asked the Delhi government the rationale behind applying the odd-even scheme, and why it wasn’t applied when the air quality situation was worse. The tribunal asked Kejriwal government to produce the letter on the basis of which the decision to implement odd-even scheme was taken, and whether the the government had sought the approval of the Lieutenant Governor.

The NGT then asked the Delhi government to state how many times does a person breathe in a day.

Here are the highlights of the hearing:

  • The NGT observes: “it is most worrying that there is absolute non cooperation between various departments of govt”
  • NGT asks the Centre and the Delhi government to name a big city where PM 10 levels were lower than 100
  • NGT to Delhi government: So we should assume that the government is sure of the odd-even scheme’s benefit, and of no inconvenience taking place to the citizens?
  • Central Pollution Control Board submits before the NGT that rain could take place in the next two days.
  • NGT asks Delhi government about reasons behind exemptions and the impact of pollution emanating from two-wheelers, and whether they intend to employ this scheme of #OddEven whenever the pollution levels spiral, to which the Delhi Govt stated that this couldn’t be said as of now.

The Kejriwal government had last week announced the introduction of vehicle rationing scheme odd-even in Delhi. The scheme was to kick in starting 13 November. The NGT had raised serious objections to this scheme on Friday. The green tribunal had blamed the Kejriwal government for making ‘the mess of Delhi.’

(With inputs from ANI)

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