The Delhi government on Friday announced free service in all Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses, as well as cluster buses, for all commuters during the Odd-Even scheme, which will kick off on November 13 and continue till November 17.
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 NGT also asked the Delhi Traffic Police to deploy its personnel at traffic lights, observing that nearly all the main roads in the city are witness to diesel vehicles which are older than 10 years and petrol vehicles which are older than 15 years.
However, the NGT refused to give any relaxation to two-wheelers from the rule.
"The odd-even will go on. No exemption be given to anyone, including two-wheeler riders, in the odd-even scheme", a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had said.
So at the moment we are calling it off. Giving nod to the Odd-Even scheme considering the severe air pollution levels, the NGT directed "no exemption" for two wheelers, government servants, VIPs or women.
"Also we can not compromise with the safety of women". "The NGT today in its order said odd-even will implement automatically if the PM2.5 level goes above 300 and PM10 level goes above 500", Rajiv Bansal, counsel representing DDA, told reporters after the hearing. The information was tweeted by Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot.
The tribunal also issued notices to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to show cause as to why construction was still going on.
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.
The tribunal constituted a three member team of officials from the CPCB and DPCC, and the special secretary of the environment department of the Delhi government, which would collect data of ambient air quality and analyse all different parameters including PM (particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5) levels, ozone, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and others.
It even asked why the Delhi government why it has not gone ahead with sprinkling water on the city to combat the toxic smog, which has triggered a pollution emergency.
The decision to call-off the scheme was taken at a meeting chaired by Arvind Kejriwal and attended by ministers, including Gahlot, Gopal Rai and Imran Hussain.