New Delhi, November 11: The Aam Aadmi Party government on Saturday scrapped its plan to implement the Odd-Even road rationing scheme from Monday which was meant to help reduce the blanket of smog that has covered the city for last one week. The government will also challenge the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT).
This comes after the green tribunal’s decision to do away with exceptions, which wasn’t politically expedient. The decision was taken by the government after an emergency cabinet meeting following the blistering criticism by the NGT.
“In light of the two conditions by NGT on two-wheelers and women, at the moment we are calling it off. We will go back to NGT on Monday, file a review petition for them to reconsider their decision regarding the two,” Kailash Gehlot, Delhi Transport Minister said.
Gehlot said that if 30 lakh two-wheelers are not allowed to ply, the public transport system in the city will not be able to cope with the pressure. “Pollution levels going down are important but women safety is paramount,” said Gahlot to ANI.
The Green Court had approved the Od-Even plan on Saturday morning but with a number of riders. The chief among them was a scrapping of exemptions for officials, VIPs, two-wheelers and woman. The Green Court also pulled up the government for delayed implementation of the Odd-Even Scheme and said, “It seems you just want to reduce vehicles from roads”.
AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj said that the Odd-Even Scheme was not meant to satisfy someone’s ego.
“Women are vulnerable and they cannot be exposed to risks. The Delhi government is also committed to their safety and security,” Bhardwaj said.
Meanwhile, the plan was withdrawn in view of the low pollution levels. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had informed the Green Court that the level of Particulate Matter 10 is below 500 and Particulate Matter 2.5 is below 300.
The court said that the Odd-Even scheme should be implemented every time Particulate Matter 10 exceeds the level of 500 and PM 2.5 rises above 300 for 48 hours.