NCR States must go odd-even: Delhi
Govt. files fresh application after NGT asked it for ‘one scientific reason’ for exemption of two-wheelers
The Delhi government on Tuesday submitted a fresh application before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asking it to direct neighbouring States to implement the odd-even scheme as well.
Earlier in the day, the government had withdrawn the review petition that it filed on Monday, seeking a modification of the Tribunal’s orders of not exempting twowheelers and women drivers from the car-rationing scheme.
The green panel rapped the government and asked for “one scientific reason” as to why two-wheelers should be included in the list of exempted vehicles considering both the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had submitted that two-wheelers are a major pollutant.
Further, the Tribunal directed the State government to select one highly polluted area in the Capital and start sprinkling of water.
Sprinkling of water
“We direct NCT Delhi, corporations and the pollution control boards to identify by 4 p.m. today [Tuesday], the area which is highly polluted and ensure sprinkling of water by using appropriate equipment, if possible through helicopter, to bring down the particulate matter in the ambient air quality,” read the order.
“If the pollution levels are still high, how are we supposed to alter our previous order?” asked the Bench.
The green panel further asked the government its ‘logic’ behind deciding to exempt women drivers on the grounds that their safety would be compromised.
“You are saying as if the respected women who already travel by metro are not your priority. How can you make such a statement? What is your concern? Is it only a tactic or is it an environmental concern?” asked the Bench.
In its plea, the Aam Aadmi Party government said it was not able to procure sufficient number of buses due to unavailability of land for construction of depots.
“Now the depot space has been created for about 2000 buses and the Government of Delhi has already approved the proposal to engage 1000 buses in cluster scheme and to purchase 1000 buses by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC)” read the petition.
“The problem of shortage of public transport will be largely addressed within one year, after which the two wheelers and the women drivers can be included in the non-exempted categories,” added the petition.
Right to breathe: Children during a protest to spread awareness about air pollution in New Delhi on Tuesday.