Delhi backtracks on odd-even scheme after grilling by NGT

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The Delhi government has withdrawn its petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in the odd-even car rationing scheme, saying that it needs to make changes to it. The NGT has asked it to ensure logical explanations when it approaches the tribunal again.

The NGT today took a tough line in questioning the Delhi government. According to CNN-News18, it said the government reopening schools was ”criminal”.

On the odd-even scheme, the NGT asked, ”Why do you intend to give arbitrary exemptions?” It cited reports that two-wheelers cause more pollution than four-wheelers, and 31 per cent of vehicular pollution came from two-wheelers.

It also asked the Delhi government why it couldn’t run ladies buses during the car-rationing scheme.

The Delhi government on Monday moved the National Green Tribunal seeking modification of the NGT’s 11 November order in which it had come down against the state’s move to exempt women, government officials and two-wheelers from the odd-even scheme to tackle pollution.

The application, filed before a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, sought exemption of women drivers from the scheme. It sought that the exemptions be allowed for one year till the government procured 2,000 buses for public transport to tackle lakhs of commuters.

The NGT also told the government to not gift infected lungs to children and pointed out that they have to wear masks to schools.

On Monday, the AAP government had filed a review petition at the NGT wherein it had demanded exemption for women drivers and two-wheelers for “this year”. This was two days after it decided to halt the traffic rationing scheme after the green court flayed the exemptions (See: Delhi again toys with odd-even as air quality fails to improve).

The odd-even scheme involves having vehicles with odd number registration numbers on the roads on odd dates and those with even registration numbers on even dates.

Earlier in the day, the NGT questioned the Delhi government for not filing a review petition and wondered if its statement on Saturday was a media gimmick. The state responded that the delay in filing the review petition was due to some registry issues.

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