Air quality in the National Capital Region saw a marginal improvement from "severe plus" to "severe" on Tuesday while the National Green Tribunal turned down a Delhi government plea for exemptions from the odd-even traffic scheme.
The Delhi government made the fresh plea before the top green court that the odd-even scheme for fourwheelers be implemented in neighbouring states with exemptions for women and two-wheelers for a year.
A study released on Tuesday confirmed fears about adverse health consequences due to toxic air breathed in by Delhi residents for the past seven days and said that air pollution had caused six per cent of the total disease burden in the country in 2016.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is slated to meet his Haryana counterpart Monohar Lal Khattar in Chandigarh on Wednesday to discuss the raging issue of stubble-burning.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, however, rejected Kejriwal's plea for the meeting on stubbleburning and asked him to refrain from "trying to politicise a serious issue".
The Delhi government's fresh plea before the NGT came hours after the tribunal turned down its first review petition to seek exemptions in the odd-scheme for two-wheelers and women drivers.
The Delhi government had decided to implement the odd-even vehicle scheme from November 13-17, with exemption to women drivers and two-wheelers as in previous two exercises.
Rejecting the petition, the NGT had said there was "no logic" to the Delhi government proposal.
In the second review petition, the Delhi government sought implementation of the odd-even scheme in neighbouring states as well, or at least part of the NCR, including places in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, stating that they had a cumulative effect on Delhi's air quality.
"Direct neighbouring states to implement the oddeven scheme," said the new review petition of the Delhi government.
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.
"Such women will not feel comfortable while travelling in heavily crowded buses," the fresh petition said, adding that the Delhi government would otherwise need at least 2,500 additional buses to accommodate women and two-wheeler riders.
According to the government, there are over 68 lakh two-wheelers in Delhi, of which 25 lakh ply on the roads daily.