Delhi govt calls off odd-even scheme after NGT strikes down exemptions

AAP MLA and Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira burning paddy stubble in Samrala near Ludhiana on Oct 15

The tribunal on Friday said the scheme was a "farce", and that it can not be implemented from next week without its permission.

App-based cab aggregator Ola today said that there would be no surge-pricing during the implementation of the odd-even vehicle scheme commencing November 13.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Delhi government to submit before it the details of the ambient air quality during the earlier implementation of the odd-even scheme.

Earlier in the day, the tribunal said that in future the odd-even scheme should automatically come into force if the PM2.5 and PM10, particles in air with diameter less than 2.5 and 10mm respectively, goes above the 300 and 500 mark respectively for 48 hours.

"The odd-even will go on". The government would file a review petition on Monday in the NGT requesting to give exemptions to two wheelers and women.

After a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot announced that the measure, which was to be implemented between November 13 and 17, was being "called off" as the number of buses were inadequate and women's safety could not be compromised.

He said only CNG vehicles, emergency services such as ambulance and fire, and vehicles carrying waste shall be exempted.

"At the moment we are calling it off".

The government said that they can't take risk with women security.

It added that removing two-wheelers from the list of exemptions would put a larger number of people under hardship since the city has a "large number of two wheelers".

Delhi and its surrounding states have been shrouded in a hazardous fog of toxic pollutants for almost a week, prompting authorities to roll out a slew of measures to combat the crisis. "This is not feasible to arrange such a large number of buses at this stage", a Delhi government statement said.

This decision has come as a result of rising air pollution in Delhi, and an attempt to reduce vehicular pollution in the city. The tribunal asked Kejriwal government to produce the letter on the basis of which the decision to implement odd-even scheme was taken, and whether the the government had sought the approval of the Lieutenant Governor.

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.

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