The Delhi government cleared on Saturday that the odd-even scheme will not be implemented from Monday as the National Green Tribunal ordered the withdrawal of exemptions given to women and two-wheelers. 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”. However, the Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said that the government is ready to roll out the scheme immediately if the exemptions are grandted. Here are 10 developments so far:
1. After a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot announced that the measure, which was to be implemented between November 13 and 17, was being “called off” as the number of buses were inadequate and women’s safety could not be compromised.
2. The NGT, which gave a conditional nod to the scheme, said that it should be implemented as and when PM (particulate matter) 10 level goes above 500 micrograms per cubic metre and PM 2.5 level crosses the limit of 300 micrograms per cubic metre and persist for 48 hours at a stretch.
3. The decision was taken a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar who ordered that there should be no exemption to “any person or officer and two-wheelers” from the ambit and scope of the road rationing scheme and would be applied with equal vigour to all vehicles.
4. The decision came after the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) told the bench that two-wheelers were more polluting than other vehicles, and emissions from motorbikes accounted for 20 per cent of the total vehicular pollution.
5. Taking strong exception to the decision to increase parking fees in Delhi by four times, the NGT ordered the Delhi government and the authorities concerned to reconsider the decision.
6. Yesterday, the Environment Minister Imran Hussain said the levels of PM2.5 and PM10 had also dropped. However, by evening, the pollution was back to ’emergency’ levels and a thick haze descended on the city.
7. In a related development, US-based carrier United Airlines temporarily suspended flights to Delhi, possibly the first such measure by an international airline, due to “poor air quality” here.
8. Monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) which is run by the Centre said that the rise in pollution to the lowering of the “boundary layer” keeping pollutants trapped near the surface and preventing their escape into the upper layer of the atmosphere.
9. “There is no likelihood of last week’s repeat as there is no fresh influx of pollutants from external sources such as stubble burning or dust storm in the larger region. But recovery will get delayed by at least one more day,” SAFAR project director Gufran Beig told PTI.
10. While passing a slew of directives, the NGT said every entry point to Delhi should be properly managed by the city government, the corporations should ensure that there was no congestion, and neighbouring states such as Uttar Pradesh and Haryana should depute special forces at the border of the national capital to avoid traffic jams.