The odd-even car rationing scheme will be rolled out in Delhi without exemptions as part of a graded response plan to tackle the alarming pollution situation in the national capital, the Arvind Kejriwal led state government on Wednesday told the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Earlier, the NGT in last month had given a go-ahead to the Odd-Even scheme to be implemented from November 13 but reprimanded the Delhi government for acting late on rising pollution levels. During this, odd-numbered cars are allowed to run on odd dates while even-numbered cars can only run on even dates. In 2016, the scheme was enforced twice – January 1-15 and April 15-30.
The AAP government had in November called off the odd-even car rationing scheme starting from after the green bench gave a conditional nod to the government’s decision to implement the scheme. The green bench ordered that no exemption should be allowed to “any person or officer and two-wheelers”. As per the report, unlike the last time, the exemptions for women drivers, two-wheelers and vehicles carrying children in school uniforms, besides VVIPs will not be applicable this time. Under the policy, private vehicles are allowed to run based on the last number of their licence plates.
Earlier, the Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call a meeting of chief ministers of Delhi and adjoining states to find a solution to the crisis. The Delhi government has directed DTC to hire 500 buses from private contractors to tackle the rush of commuters during the odd-even implementation week.
The air quality in Delhi-NCR continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category on Wednesday. As per the Air Quality Index (AQI) data, Delhi’s Lodhi Road area has content of prominent pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 in ‘severe’ category. At least 20 trains were delayed, five rescheduled and ten cancelled due to decreased visibility as well as operational reasons. Air quality in Delhi has been hovering between the ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ categories but was not ‘severe’ since November 13.