Delhi pollution: NGT slams govt, SC to hear plea over rising smog

On these stretches safety seems light years away

On these stretches safety seems light years away Chennai Sat,11 Nov 2017

The tribunal is likely to hear the plea tomorrow.

The Delhi government had on Saturday said it would approach the green court again on Monday requesting the exemptions and, subject to the NGT decision, it would "consider implementing it again".

"On an earlier occasion when the odd-even scheme was implemented, the reports submitted by the CPCB and DPCC showed that the parameters of PM 2.5 and PM 10 had not reduced", added the Bench.

NGT asked the Arvind Kejriwal government whether it was just the media that was updated about the review petition since nothing has been filed by them in the tribunal court as of yet. It is empowering to a woman, and neither the NGT nor the Delhi government has any business taking it away from us.

However, women, two-wheelers and government servants won't be exempted during the scheme.

The Delhi government on Monday filed an appeal with the National Green Tribunal, asking it to amend its November 11 order on the odd-even scheme, as pollution levels remained high in the region.

On Saturday, the green court gave the go ahead to the odd-even scheme and disapproved of all the exemptions that were given during the previous two phases of odd-even in January and April 2016.

Deadly smog has covered the city for the last six days.

There were speculations that the Delhi government may not file a review petition against the NGT order as a separate petition filed by a citizen is up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon.

Since Tuesday morning, Delhi was covered with thick smog, following which health officials issued advisory to elderly and children to avoid venturing out.

Central Delhi's Lodhi Road (Air Quality Index of 567) and north-west Delhi's Pitampura (Air Quality Index of 544) had the worst readings at 2.30 pm.

Earlier the NGT had also announced that until Monday all the schools will be shut down and there will be a ban on trucks carrying construction material and on construcion sites until next notice.

The deadly smog chocks air causing breathlessness and lung difficulties, besides badly affecting the visibility. Why then, some of the city's residents asked on Twitter, did authorities wait until the onset of winter this year to pass legislation on auto rationing?

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the submission that rise in dust particles on roads, and stubble burning in Delhi's neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas.

Ghaziabad was the most polluted city in the entire NCR, with PM2.5 at an astounding 848 units at 4 p.m - 33 times the safe limit. Past year the city's high court described the capital as "gas chamber". Pollution in Delhi gets aggravated during winter months.

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