Friday, 24 November, 2017

Delhi government seeks exemptions for odd-even this year

Delhi pollution LIVE updates: Is this a joke? Kejriwal's Odd-Even exemption to 2-wheelers gets an earful from NGT Delhi government files fresh review plea before NGT seeking exemptions to odd-even policy
Melissa Porter | 13 November, 2017, 18:06

The Delhi government on Monday requested the National Green Tribunal to exempt women drivers and two-wheeler users in the odd-even road rationing arrangement for at least one year, admitting that the existing public transport system was not adequate enough to accommodate them. The case will not be taken up at least till tomorrow, which means the Odd-Even plan will be put off further in the city where air pollution has hit emergency levels. After the meeting was concluded the odd-even was called off and the AAP chose to file another plea to reconsider the scheme with the exemption condition given by the party.

BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma also slashed down on the Delhi government remarking that, the AAP government never implemented hundred of other option suggested by the NGT to overcome the situation but was stuck on the odd even scheme only. "We will go back to NGT on Monday, file a review petition for them to reconsider their decision regarding the two", Kailash Gehlot, Delhi's Transport Minister, told the media.

There were speculations that the Delhi government may not file a review petition against the NGT order as a separate petition filed by a citizen is up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the supreme court has agreed to hear a plea today seeking immediate measures to curb the alarming level of pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal slammed the Delhi government over a review petition on the Odd-Even scheme and asked whether the statement was just for media or the cabinet plans to move the applications.

Gargava of the CPCB, who is in charge of monitoring air quality, said Delhi's air has been consistently in the "hazardous" zone, despite measures such as a halt to construction and increasing auto parking charges four-fold to encourage people to use public transportation.

The question which everyone is now asking, is what the Arvind Kejriwal government is planning to do now that the government's odd-even plan is in limbo. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia's media advisor Arunodoy Prakash said that Delhi's present public transport system can not bear the gargantuan load of additional commuters that lack of exemption to two-wheelers would cause.

In a petition, the government said it would be able to include women and two-wheelers in the scheme only next year after more buses are bought. The Delhi High Court too ordered the government to implement the scheme without any exemption.

The AAP had alleged that the subtle burning in Punjab and Haryana, was the main cause of the rising pollution in Delhi.

Incidentally, implementing odd-even is probably the only option left with the Delhi's AAP government to control the severe air pollution.