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No odd-even unless you justify its necessity: NGT

The NGT termed the plan a 'farce'

Vehicles plying at a road in smog, in New Delhi on Wednesday morning. Photo: PTI
Vehicles plying at a road in smog, in New Delhi on Wednesday morning. Photo: PTI

Uncertainty prevailed over the implementation of the odd-even car rationing scheme, as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday questioned the rationale behind the Delhi government’s decision to roll it out for five days next week, saying the scheme “cannot be imposed like this”. 

The NGT questioned the basis for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government’s decision saying the Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Committee have found that the levels of PM10 and PM2.5 were cumulatively higher when the scheme was implemented twice earlier.

“Odd-even formula can’t be imposed like this. You can’t have a shock treatment like this.By this scheme, you are only encouraging people to buy more vehicles and allowing more inter-state traffic. We will not allow odd-even vehicle rationalisation scheme until you prove that it’s not counter-productive,” the Bench said. 

The NGT termed the plan a “farce” and asked the Delhi government to give an undertaking that it will roll out the scheme only when the particulate matter (PM) 2.5 was over 300. 

“You are getting the tag of the worst capital in the world. The SC and NGT have suggested 100 measures to curb pollution, but you always opt for odd-even. Nothing has been done by the Delhi government in the past one year,” a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.

It also quizzed the city government over its decision to introduce 500 buses during the odd-even week and directed it to clearly state how many of these vehicles ran on diesel.