New Delhi, Nov 15: The Arvind Kejriwal government on Tuesday filed a fresh petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking odd-even scheme for the states adjacent to Delhi. It sought directions to be issued to the states governments of Delhi’s neighbouring states for implementing the car-rationing scheme, according to the sources. This will include cities within the NCR region.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had earlier suggested the odd-even scheme to other states to the legal team of the government. The sources also said that a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was created by the Supreme Court-appointed body, Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). (Also Read: Don’t Gift Infected Lungs to Children: NGT Tells Kejriwal Govt Over Delhi Pollution)
“Under GRAP, when PM2.5 levels cross 300 µg/m3 or PM10 levels cross 500 µg/m3, then odd-even scheme for private vehicles is to be implemented all over Delhi and NCR. Further when PM2.5 levels are between 121-250 µg/m3 or PM10 levels are between 351-430 µg/m3, then parking rates should come up by three-four times across NCR. But the entire emphasis has been on Delhi, although pollution in NCR has a direct impact on the capital,” a source was quoted as saying the Indian Express.
The Delhi government also requested the green panel to exempt two-wheelers and women drivers for one year or till 2,000 additional buses are engaged. “Why can’t you (Delhi government) run ladies special buses to solve the problem of transport during the odd-even scheme?” the Tribunal asked.
“There are nearly 68 lakh two-wheelers in the city, of which 25 lakh two-wheelers ply every day. If these are not exempted, 2,500 buses are needed, which Delhi doesn’t have right now,” a source said. However, the NGT had rejected the Delhi government’s plea that women and two-wheelers be exempted from the odd-even scheme.
The NGT also called the smog situation in the capital an environment and public health emergency. It asked the Delhi government to identify the areas that are most polluted and sprinkle water over them.
The AAP government had filed a petition just hours after the green panel rejected the suggestion of exemption women and two-wheelers from the odd-even scheme and its order that diesel vehicles over 10 years old be taken off the roads immediately. The Tribunal’s review had prompted the Delhi government to withdraw the petition and file a fresh one seeking odd-even across NCR.