The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government whether it can limit the restriction on the plying of even- and odd-numbered vehicles in the national capital on alternate days to “a week” instead of the planned 15 days.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the government to submit the data on air pollution it has collected in a week during implementation of the odd-even scheme in the national capital.
“Is it really necessary to have it for two weeks (15 days)? Can’t it be confined to eight days? Can you end it on Friday? People are facing inconvenience. Take instructions,” the bench asked the government posting the matter for Friday.
“It was a pilot project. You must have data (air pollution) with you now. Show us how much the pollution has reduced. The people of Delhi supported you despite inconvenience. There is no adequate public transport,” the bench said.
The court also asked why diesel cabs were still plying on roads despite a ban.
The court was hearing 12 PILs challenging the Delhi government’s decision to only allow even- and odd-numbered vehicles to ply in Delhi on alternate dates from January 1 to 15.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi government, defended the decision of continuing the odd-even scheme for 15 days and said the data collected till now shows decrease in the level of air pollution.
In a status report submitted to the court, the AAP government defended its decision to exempt two-wheelers from the scheme. “In case of two-wheelers, pooling would have been a limited option and it was expected that around 60-70 percent of population would have to resort to public transport. The present available public transport infrastructure is not sufficient to cater to such a huge demand,” the report said.
The status report said the reduction in number of four-wheelers helps decrease the congestion on roads “which has a positive effect on vehicular pollution control”.