Delhi air pollution: NGT rejects AAP govt's plea seeking to exempt two-wheelers from odd-even scheme

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Friday dismissed the AAP government's review plea seeking an exemption for two-wheelers in the odd-even scheme, saying such a relaxation would defeat the purpose of improving Delhi's ambient air quality.

File image of people commuting through smog in New Delhi. PTI

File image of people commuting through smog in New Delhi. PTI

"It is undisputed before us that there are over 60 lakh two-wheelers in Delhi. The number also consists of two-wheelers which are very old and their emissions are beyond prescribed limits," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

"It also cannot be disputed that emissions from two-wheelers are also a major source of pollution. The exemptions sought would defeat the entire purpose of improving the air quality of Delhi," it said.

Under the scheme, odd and even numbered vehicles ply on alternate days.

The green panel also directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to introduce more buses in its fleet as per the Supreme Court order and strengthen the public transport system.

The bench had earlier sought a "workable solution" from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan for combating the problem of pollution.

The tribunal had on 6 December slammed the AAP government and the neighbouring states over their action plan on ways to deal with severe air pollution in the city and directed them to file a detailed document to tackle the problem.

It had observed that air pollution was never at "normal level" in the national capital and directed the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan to file the action plan afresh.

The counsel for the Delhi government had filed the plan which recommended implementation of the odd-even plan, ban on construction works and disallowing children from playing outside when air quality turns severe.

The counsel for petitioner Vardhaman Kaushik, who had filed the plea against worsening air quality in Delhi, had said the action plans submitted by the states were merely an "eye-wash" and they have only "copy-pasted" the recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed EPCA.

Earlier, the NGT had directed the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and every state pollution control board to file ambient air quality analysis before the tribunal on monthly basis and also put up the information on their websites to enable the authority concerned to take effective steps to control air pollution.

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Updated Date: Dec 15, 2017 16:56:28 IST

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