NGT Bench rapped Delhi Government stating that,”The Supreme Court had never said that you implement the odd-even scheme. It was only one of the directions given by EPCA. You have not followed 99 directions and introduced the odd-even scheme and treating it as a picnic”.
On Friday, National Green Tribunal directed the Delhi Government to submit data or the studies on basis of which it has planned to introduce odd-even car rationing scheme for the five days from next week.
NGT questions the rationale of AAP led Delhi Govt. in rolling out scheme when the reports by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had found that levels of PM10 and PM2.5 were cumulatively higher when scheme was implemented twice earlier.
On April 21,2017 CPCB had submitted that NGT that there was no data to suggest that odd-even scheme has led to a decline in the vehicular pollution in Delhi-NCR.
Under this scheme, vehicles with the odd and even numbers are allowed to ply on the alternate days.
NGT has asked Delhi Govt. to give an undertaking that it will roll out the odd -even scheme only when the particulate matter (PM) 2.5 was over 300. Directing Government not to implement the scheme unless it has established that it was not counter-productive.
Prevailing level of PM2.5 in Delhi was hovering around 433 micrograms per cubic metre, while the PM10 stood at around 617, according to the latest CPCB data.
NGT Bench headed by the NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar has directed City Government to submit comparative ratio of emission caused by the Diesel and Petrol vehicles and asked it to clearly enumerate contribution of the small petrol cars in the pollution.
Bench questioned the justification of exempting the two-wheelers and the women drivers during odd-even scheme despite knowing that the two-wheelers caused 46 per cent pollution.
Green Panel allowed industries engaged in the essential services to operate in Delhi-NCR on the condition that they would not pollute and cause emissions.
NGT however noted that Delhi Govt. has been taking steps in the interest of the environment and the public health and these were laudable.
Hearing remained inconclusive today and will resume tomorrow.
During the hearing, the Delhi government counsel told the bench that they were introducing the odd-even scheme in pursuance to the directions of the apex court-appointed EPCA.
But the tribunal rapped the city government over this submission and said the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had issued several suggestions and the odd- even scheme was just one of them.
The AAP government had yesterday announced introduction of the odd-even scheme as part of a Graded Response Plan to tackle the alarming pollution levels in the capital.
The city has been experiencing ‘severe’ air quality and has been reeling under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels breached permissible standards by multiple times.
With deadly smog blanketing Delhi and the neighbouring states, the NGT had yesterday banned construction and industrial activities and entry of trucks. The CPCB has recorded ‘severe’ air quality, meaning that the intensity of pollution was extreme.
Source - ptinews.com