NGT gives approval to Delhi government's Odd-Even scheme

Posted November 12, 2017

Speaking to the media, Delhi's Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot said that the state government will file a review petition in the NGT urging it to exempt the 2-wheelers and women.

The NGT passed a slew of directions and said that all corporations and authorities of the Delhi government should ensure that was no structural construction activity in the capital till November 14.

The tribunal directed that odd-even should be implemented "right away" without waiting for 48 hours, in case PM2.5 and PM10 go beyond 400 and 700 units respectively. The tribunal also asked the Delhi government that when the statistics had indicated that rain led to a fall in pollution levels, why wasn't any action taken?

In a statement, the government later said that it has made a decision to "defer" its implementation. "If 30 lakh two-wheelers are off the road, Delhi's public transport system can not accommodate the surge", added Gehlot.

On Saturday, the air quality in Delhi-NCR region showed slight improvement towards the afternoon but the pollution levels shot up again later.

The NGT also asked the Delhi government the rationale behind applying the odd-even scheme, and why it wasn't applied when the air quality situation was worse.

The hourly graph of the Central Control Room for Air Quality Management run by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) also captured the sudden change in the air quality.

The NGT on Friday had asked the Delhi government to submit before it the results of the earlier two phases of the odd-even. They are a great nuisance. "You're only taking the decision after the tribunal directed you to", the NGT was quoted as saying by DNA. "How surprising", the bench said.

Considering the poor visibility in Delhi, the United Airlines on Saturday temporarily suspended its flight from Newark to the national capital. United Airlines has asked its customers who plan to travel from 9 to 13 November to book their tickets before November 18. PM2.5 and PM10 levels have also come down. "But recovery will get delayed by at least one more day", SAFAR project director Gufran Beig told PTI. The concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 hovered around 490 and 290 micrograms per cubic metre during the morning hours, marginally below the emergency limit of 500 and 300.