Green court rejects odd-even plea again, govt files ‘re­view’

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Metro - HT Cor­re­spon­dent htre­porters@hin­dus­tan­ n


NEW DELHI: The Na­tional Green Tri­bunal on Tues­day re­jected the gov­ern­ment’s mod­i­fied plea to ex­empt two-wheeler rid­ers and women in the odd-even scheme af­ter which the AAP gov­ern­ment filed a fresh “re­view” pe­ti­tion.

The gov­ern­ment, dur­ing the hear­ing on Tues­day, was asked to with­draw the ex­emp­tion ap­pli­ca­tion with a lib­erty to file again, which it did af­ter the green court re­fused to mod­ify its or­ders.

The new pe­ti­tion urged the NGT to “re­view” it’s Nov 11 or­der. In the pre­vi­ous pe­ti­tion, which was heard on Tues­day, the prayer was for “mod­i­fi­ca­tion”. It also asks the green court to “di­rect the neigh­bour­ing states to im­ple­ment the odd even scheme”.

Ear­lier, a green court bench had lam­basted the gov­ern­ment for its ap­peal for ex­emp­tion.

“This is an en­vi­ron­men­tal emer­gency, so no one is wor­ried. Some other kind of emer­gency, you peo­ple would have taken all steps… Why don’t you take pos­i­tive steps? Why should we ex­empt any­body? ” it said.

The Delhi gov­ern­ment had on Mon­day re­quested the NGT to ex­empt women driv­ers and twowheeler users from odd-even , for at least one year. The gov­ern­ment ad­mit­ted that the ex­ist­ing pub­lic trans­port sys­tem was not ad­e­quate to ac­com­mo­date them.

The NGT, how­ever, de­flated the gov­ern­ment’s plea.

“Are you do­ing this from an en­vi­ron­men­tal point of view? What is the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion? … are you (Delhi gov­ern­ment) not re­spon­si­ble for safety of ladies who do not have cars and travel by Met­ros and buses daily? Why can’t you run spe­cial lady buses?... When re­ports have stated that two-wheel­ers are more pol­lut­ing than four-wheel­ers, why do you in­tend to give ar­bi­trary ex­emp­tions?”

Pulling up gov­ern­ment agen­cies for in­ac­tion, the court said, “Courts can’t hold the de­part­ments’ fin­gers like par­ents do with chil­dren.”

It asked the au­thor­i­ties to com­ply with its or­der to sprin­kle wa­ter to bring down pol­lu­tion.

The court gave the green sig­nal to NHAI to go ahead with con­struc­tion of the east­ern pe­riph­eral ex­press­way , sub­ject to an as­sur­ance that no pol­lu­tion would be caused.

In­dus­tries in­volved in man­u­fac­tur­ing of es­sen­tial com­modi­ties and food items have been ex­empted and al­lowed to run. In­dus­tries that are non-pol­lut­ing and con­form to pol­lu­tion norms can also con­tinue to op­er­ate.

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