New Delhi, Nov 10: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) rapped Arvind Kejriwal government for announcing the Odd-Even scheme in Delhi despite the Central Pollution Control Board’s report that it was ineffective. The NGT further asked the Delhi government to first prove that the Odd-Even scheme has reduced pollution or else it will stay the imposition of the scheme. In April 2016, the CPCB had told NGT that there’s no data that suggests that the odd-even scheme has helped in reducing vehicular pollution in Delhi-NCR.
The hearing will continue tomorrow. “Keeping in mind environmental emergency and the Odd-Even, a special NGT bench will sit tomorrow, on a holiday, & Delhi govt will have to answer them why is Odd-Even necessary to be implemented now, said Gaurav Bansal, lawyer in odd-even implementation matter in NGT.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced that the Odd-Even scheme will be rolled out for five days starting November 13. The development came hours after the High Court suggested a car rationing scheme as was done last year. On the implementation of the Odd-Even scheme, the NGT said that the “formula can’t be imposed like this,” adding, “Nothing has been done from your (Delhi government) end since the past one year. (Also Read: Go to Hospitals And See What People Are Going Through Due to Pollution: NGT Tells Delhi Govt, MCD)
“The Supreme Court never asked for imposition of this scheme. SC and NGT have suggested 100 measures to curb pollution but you always opted for odd-even. Delhi government will have to justify the implementation of this scheme,” the National Green Tribunal said. It further slammed the AAP government for implementing the scheme when the situation is improving. “You should have done this earlier if you wanted to. This will now cause inconvenience to people,” it said.
The NGT had earlier slammed the government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCDs) and neighbouring states for the deteriorating air quality in the national capital and asked them to see the pitiable condition of people in hospitals. “Right to life is being snatched from people since they’re not getting a clean environment,” said the NGT.
It also directed that no industrial work would be carried on in the national capital till the next hearing on November 14. “Even construction work taking place openly isn’t being stopped, and when such a situation has ensued now action is being promised,” it observed.
The tribunal on Wednesday lashed out at the government and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for not issuing orders to close down construction in Delhi despite the worsening air quality in Delhi. It had also ordered the Punjab and Haryana government to provide details of the steps they have taken to stop burning of the paddy stubble and curb pollution.