Delhi Air Pollution LIVE Updates: The Supreme Court on Friday asked Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to conduct random checks on three-wheelers running on polluting fuels and to file a report about it. It also said that the Odd-Even scheme may not be a permanent solution, especially when the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) stated that cars constitute three percent of pollution levels.
Delhi Air Pollution LATEST Updates: According to News18, unconfirmed reports stated that Delhi MP Gautam Gambir, who was among the 21 Lok Sabha members summoned to attend a Parliamentary Standing Committee meeting on the air pollution crisis in the national capital, skipped the meeting as he is currently on a leisure trip to Indore.
Firstpost could not independently verify the claim, however, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted an image of Gautam at a local eatery in Indore.
The Supreme Court on Friday asked Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to conduct random checks on three-wheelers running on polluting fuels and to file a report about it. It also said that the Odd-Even scheme may not be a permanent solution, especially when the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) stated that cars constitute three percent of pollution levels.
The apex court also asked the Delhi Development Authority, Public Works Department and other civic bodies to co-operate with the monitoring committee to ensure implementation of court orders, reports ANI
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the state government, told the apex court, "if certain exemptions are removed that are given under the Odd-Even scheme, like two wheelers, it will help."
As the Air Quality Index in Delhi plunged to almost 600 on Friday, the Supreme Court reprimanded the AAP-led government for the rising pollution levels in the city, which remained engulfed in thick smog. The apex court also observed that Arvind Kejriwal implemented Odd-Even scheme might not the solution to check air pollution.
"Delhi is suffering badly, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is almost 600 even today. How do people breathe?" Supreme Court asks state government.
On being asked by the Supreme Court if there has been any improvement in Delhi's air quality after installation of Odd-Even scheme, the Delhi government responded saying that there has been a reduction in pollution levels by 5-15 percent.
However, the results would be better if the anti-pollution measure could be implemented without allowing any exemptions.
As Delhi continues to gasp for air, Municipal Commissioners of all three corporations failed to show up in the meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee to discuss the deteriorating air quality in the National Capital, CNN-News18 reported.
The key pollution meet stood cancelled after top officers, including secretary and joint secretary did not attend the parliamentary committee meeting.
Claiming that the high levels of pollution in the National Capital is because of stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that the Delhi government will take a call on extending the deadline of Odd-Even scheme on Monday after assessing the improvement in the air quality.
"We don't want to implement the Odd-Even scheme forcefully thereby, inconveniencing citizens. According to predictions, the air quality in Delhi is expected to improve from Saturday. If that happens, we won't extend the deadline. But the final decision will be taken on Monday, when the government will take a call on whether the extend the Odd-Even rule in the city, depending on the improvement or deterioration of the air quality," Kejriwal said.
The plea filed by the Noida-based lawyer had alleged that the road rationing scheme was "arbitrary, contrary to statutory provisions and is nothing but a political and vote bank gimmick".
"The odd-even vehicle scheme violates the fundamental rights of residents of Delhi and adjoining states who daily commute in/out of Delhi in their four wheeled vehicles to do their jobs/business to earn their livelihood and is ultra vires Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India," the plea said.
Questioning the rationale behind the scheme, the plea claimed that three sources of data on Delhi's air-quality, including those by the CPCB and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), have confirmed that in the past the odd-even rule did not lower pollution levels in the national capital.
"It shows that odd-even is nothing, but a political and vote bank gimmick as it has been done capriciously in an unreasonable manner," it said.
The petition challenging AAP government implemented Odd-Even scheme was filed by a Noida-based advocate, who alleged that the Delhi government's 1 November notification on the scheme violated fundamental rights.
It alleged that the rules of the road rationing scheme violates citizens' rights and stops them from practicing any profession, carry out any occupation, trade or business and to move freely throughout the country.
According to government officials, as of Thursday, a total of 4,309 challans were issued against violators of the Odd-Even road rationing scheme.
As per official data, 475 challans were issued by the teams of traffic police (276), transport (139) and revenue (60) departments from 8 am to 8 pm, when the restrictions were in force, on Thursday.
As Delhi continues to reel under thick blanket of smog for the fifth consecutive day on Friday after a brief relief last week with with air quality in several areas dipping to 'severe-plus' category, no decision was taken until Thursday on extending the Odd-Even road rationing scheme, which enters its final day on Friday.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government is still uncertain regarding the extension of the Odd-Even road rationing system in Delhi, even as a public health emergency is being declared in the capital.
"A final decision about extending the odd-even rule could be taken on Friday, depending on the situation of air pollution and outcome of a hearing pertaining to the scheme in the Supreme Court," a Delhi government functionary said.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier said the odd-even restrictions could be extended if required.
Till Thursday, a total of 4,309 challans were issued against violators of the scheme, officials said.
According to official data, 475 challans were issued by the teams of traffic police(276.), transport (139) and revenue (60) departments from 8 am to 8 pm, when the restrictions were in force, on Thursday.
The violators of odd-even rules are slapped with a fine of Rs 4,000.
A total of 532 violators of odd-even rules were challaned on the first day of the scheme on 4 November. The highest number of challans (709) was issued on 6 November.
Under the rule, non-transport vehicles having odd and even last digits of registration number ply on odd and even dates, respectively.
The Delhi government has claimed a high percentage of compliance of the scheme by motorists in the city. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has said people were "religiously" following the odd-even rule.
The Delhi government blaming crop stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana as the reason behind poor air quality in the National Capital has claimed that the odd-even scheme is one of the steps responsible for respite from the crisis.