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

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

Shortly after National Green Tribunal issued orders not to exempt two whealers, women and government officials from odd-even traffic scheme, the Delhi Government chose to call off the odd-even scheme.

The government said it will move the NGT on Monday requesting a review of its order and if the exemptions are granted, the scheme's implementation "will be considered". The Odd-Even plan was called off in view of order of NGT which withdrew all exemptions except on plying of emergency vehicles.

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 state government said Thursday it would impose vehicle rationing for the world's most polluted capital over five days starting Monday in the hopes of improving air quality, as doctors declared a public health emergency.

The scheme, which had evoked major controversy in Delhi, had been tried in other cities of the world in the past, including Mexico, Paris, Bogota and Beijing. "The absence of 30 lakh from roads will make transportation system chaotic in Delhi", Kailash Gehlot said.

He also asked the government to clarify the logic behind allowing two-wheelers.

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The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recorded "severe" air quality, meaning that the intensity of pollution was extreme.

"Your buses create so much noise on the road".

The tribunal slammed DTC for not taking note of an NGT order on maintenance of buses and carrying out a rationalisation study so that the vehicles can be used more effectively.

Considering the poor visibility in Delhi, the United Airlines on Saturday temporarily suspended its flight from Newark to the national capital. The situation had reversed hours after the government announced that levels of ultrafine particulates PM2.5 and PM10 had seen a reduction. In fact, the improvement in the air quality made during the day started diminishing from around 2 pm itself. 'Dust storm in Middle East also behind smog' A Centre-run pollution agency has identified a late October dust storm in the Middle East and stubble-burning in northern states as the prime factors behind the air pollution crisis.

But by 6 pm, the readings had changed to 522 and 332.

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