After NGT rap, Delhi government defers odd-even

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The Delhi government had Thursday announced the return of the odd-even auto rationing scheme, under which private cars with odd and even number plates will be allowed to ply on roads only on alternate days. "If 30 lakh two-wheelers are off the road, Delhi's public transport system can not accommodate the surge", added Gehlot.

The Delhi government on Friday announced free service in all Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses, as well as cluster buses, for all commuters during the Odd-Even scheme, which will kick off on November 13 and continue till November 17.

Opposing the scheme, NGT asked the Delhi government the contribution of vehicle pollution to the total pollution in the National Capital.

The National Green Tribunal on Saturday gave its approval for implementing the Odd-Even scheme in Delhi from November 13 to November 17, but with conditions applied.

While hearing the matter, the NGT asked the Delhi government to impose a fine of Rs 1 lakh on builders found violating directions, as construction work has been halted in view of smog and air pollution. "Given the pollution level, it is better to use public transport rather than our cars", said Kanika Sood, a resident of Lajpat Nagar.

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The NGT, in its order, also said that in future the odd-even scheme should automatically come into force if the PM2.5 and PM10, particles in air with diameter less than 2.5 and 10mm respectively, go above the 300 and 500 units for 48 hours.

The government is not ready "to compromise with the safety of women" after the NGT ordered that there should be no exemption to anyone except emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire tenders, he said.

"The situation in the capital is improving". When statistics indicate that rains lead to a fall in pollution levels, why did you take time to spray water? I appeal to Delhi residents to not panic.

"Further, this government feels that considering the large number of two-wheelers in Delhi, unless adequate number of buses are available, implementation of odd-even will cause great hardship to such persons".

The scheme is being rolled out under a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) given by the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).

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