Pro­cure buses for Delhi on war­foot­ing: HC

Mid Day - - NATION -

The Na­tional Green Tri­bunal yes­ter­day re­fused to ex­empt women and two-wheel­ers from the Delhi gov­ern­ment's odd-even car ra­tioning scheme and di­rected it to en­sure that over 10-year-old diesel ve­hi­cles are taken off the roads with­out de­lay.

The tri­bunal, which ex­pressed con­cern over the high pol­lu­tion level which was an “en­vi­ron­men­tal and health emer­gency”, said the city should “not gift in­fected lungs to its chil­dren.”

A bench headed by NGT Chair­per­son Jus­tice Swatan­ter Ku­mar also asked the Aam Aadmi Party gov­ern­ment here to iden­tify the most pol­luted ar­eas yes­ter­day it­self and sprin­kle wa­ter from high rise build­ings.

The bench, how­ever, al­lowed non-pol­lut­ing in­dus­tries who man­u­fac­ture es­sen­tial goods to op­er­ate.

‘What are states do­ing?’

Dur­ing the hear­ing, the NGT also asked what the states of Pun­jab, Haryana and Ut­tar Pradesh are do­ing. “What is UP, Haryana and Pun­jab do­ing? All of you are just blam­ing each other. You can­not just shift blame,” it said.

The Delhi gov­ern­ment with­drew its plea as the NGT was not con­vinced with its sub­mis­sion that the city did not have ad­e­quate pub­lic trans­port to cater to over 25 lakh com­muters. The Delhi gov­ern­ment had yes­ter­day moved an ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the bench seek­ing mod­i­fi­ca­tion of its Novem­ber 11 or­der al­low­ing odd-even scheme with­out ex­emp­tions.

The tri­bunal noted that as per re­ports of the pol­lu­tion con­trol com­mit­tees, twowheel­ers caused greater pol­lu­tion, and ac­cord­ing to Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Com­mit­tee (DPCC), ap­prox­i­mately 30 per cent pol­lu­tion was caused by them.

“If you per­mit 68 lakh twowheel­ers to ply, what will be the ex­tent of the pol­lu­tion? You said thou­sands of buses were or­dered but have not got a sin­gle bus yet. You wait for a cri­sis,” the bench said.

On ex­emp­tion for women

Ex­press­ing an­guish over the plea seek­ing per­mis­sion to ex­empt women drivers from the odd-even scheme, the NGT asked “are you (Delhi gov­ern­ment) not re­spon­si­ble for safety of ladies who do not With the na­tional cap­i­tal gasp­ing for breath, the Delhi High Court yes­ter­day termed the need for more buses in the city a “grave ur­gency” and said the zAAP gov­ern­ment needed to ad­dress it on a “war­foot­ing”.

It noted that de­spite the pas­sage of 19 years since a have cars and travel by met­ros and buses on a daily ba­sis? Why can't you have a spe­cial ladies buses?”

Not­ing that par­tic­u­late mat­ter (PM) 10 was higher than 900, it said, “You (Delhi gov­ern­ment) are sprin­kling wa­ter on trees. What you are sup­posed to do is to climb a mul­ti­storeyed build­ing and sprin­kle wa­ter us­ing fire equip­ment.” Supreme Court or­der, the gov­ern­ment of Delhi has not yet achieved the tar­get set by the top court.

The bench re­minded the Delhi gov­ern­ment about the Supreme Court's July 27, 1998 di­rec­tion to aug­ment the fleet of buses from 5,000 to 10,000. Mi­cro­grams per cu­bic me­tre of PM 10 lev­els yes­ter­day Mi­cro­grams per cu­bic me­tre of PM 2.5 lev­els yes­ter­day

PIC/PTI

Chil­dren wear­ing air pol­lu­tion masks, hold repli­cas of black roses as they at­tend a demon­stra­tion to spread aware­ness about the prob­lem of air pol­lu­tion, on Chil­dren's Day in New Delhi yes­ter­day.

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