Air pol­lu­tion: Delhi govt plea on odd-even ex­emp­tions re­jected

HEALTH ALARM: Delhi could use he­li­copters to sprin­kle wa­ter at a pol­lu­tion hotspot

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW DELHI: The Na­tional Green Tri­bunal (NGT) on Tues­day turned down the Delhi gov­ern­ment’s plea to ex­empt women driv­ers and twowheel­ers from the odd-even ve­hi­cle ra­tioning scheme, say­ing there was “no logic” to the pro­posal.

The top green tri­bunal also asked the Delhi gov­ern­ment to choose a spot in the city by 4 pm on Tues­day and sprin­kle wa­ter from he­li­copter on the area to know the ef­fi­cacy of the step in re­duc­ing air pol­lu­tion.

Rap­ping the Delhi gov­ern­ment for its plea, the tri­bunal asked why should ex­emp­tion be given to twowheel­ers when they are a ma­jor cause of pol­lu­tion.

“On what ba­sis are you ask­ing ex­emp­tion for two-wheelers,” NGT Chair­per­son Jus­tice Swatan­ter Ku­mar said. On Delhi gov­ern­ment coun­sel Tarun­vir Singh Khe­har rais­ing the is­sue of women’s se­cu­rity, the tri­bunal said: “Why don’t you run Women’s Special buses?”

The tri­bunal also rapped the Delhi gov­ern­ment over “de­lay” in the pro­cure­ment of 4,000 ad­di­tional buses and noted that sprin­kling of wa­ter on pol­lu­tion hotspots was not be­ing done prop­erly.

“Why don’t you act upon those who are re­spon­si­ble for pol­lu­tion. How many peo­ple have you pe­nalised or chal­laned so asked.

Fol­low­ing the tri­bunal’s order, the Delhi gov­ern­ment with­drew its pe­ti­tion. The tri­bunal said the Delhi gov­ern­ment could move a fresh pe­ti­tion be­fore it on the traf­fic ra­tioning scheme.

It said Delhi gov­ern­ment could use he­li­copters, if nec­es­sary, to sprin­kle wa­ter at a pol­lu­tion hotspot in the city to know its ef­fi­cacy.

“Choose one place in Delhi by 4 pm and sprin­kle wa­ter and there­after far,” Jus­tice Ku­mar cal­cu­late the par­ti­cle pol­lu­tion know how much dif­fer­ence does make,” the tri­bunal said.

The tri­bunal also al­lowed the Na­tional High­ways Au­thor­ity of In­dia to go ahead with con­struc­tion of the Delhi-Meerut High­way at the east­ern pe­riph­ery of the city but said there should be no dust pol­lu­tion.

The Delhi gov­ern­ment had on Satur­day de­cided to halt the odd-even traf­fic re­stric­tion scheme, which was sched­uled to be im­ple­mented from Novem­ber 13 to 17. to it

It moved the NGT on Mon­day with a re­view pe­ti­tion seek­ing ex­emp­tions for two-wheelers and women.

Mean­while, Road Trans­port and High­ways Min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari on Tues­day said traf­fic not des­tined for Delhi should be di­verted from the cap­i­tal to cut traf­fic con­ges­tion on city roads.

Gad­kari said the gov­ern­ment was work­ing on com­ple­tion of the East­erly By­pass Road be­fore Jan­uary 26.

He said once the East­erly and West­erly by­pass roads were op­er­a­tional, ve­hi­cles des­tined for other places near Delhi won’t have to en­ter the city.

“This would bring huge re­lief to the peo­ple of Delhi from ve­hic­u­lar pol­lu­tion,” the Min­is­ter said.

— AFP

Chil­dren wear­ing air pol­lu­tion masks at­tend a demon­stra­tion to spread aware­ness of the prob­lem of air pol­lu­tion on Chil­dren’s Day in New Delhi on Tues­day.

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