Delhi government’s much discussed Odd-Even scheme of road rationing had no impact in reducing the pollution levels in the national capital, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday. The ‘green court’ is hearing the matter demanding monitoring of pollution level in the capital, the issue which has been a cause of concern for the last few years.
Last year in December, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government in Delhi came up with the road rationing scheme, termed ‘Odd-Even scheme’ to tackle the increasing pollution levels. The scheme was tested twice – January and April.
Submitting its findings before the court, the central pollution control body CPCB said there was no improvement in air quality in Delhi during the second week of the odd-even scheme in April.
Hearing the matter, the National Green Tribunal directed Delhi government to convene a meeting of concerned authorities to come up with a solution to tackle the worsening air quality in the national capital, after being told that the odd-even scheme has not helped in curbing pollution.
The direction to hold such a meeting soon was given by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar to the Delhi Chief Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and other stakeholders.
“The counsel appearing for CPCB on instructions says there has been no improvement in ambient air quality of Delhi during implementation of odd-even scheme…The Chief Secretary, NCT of Delhi shall conduct a meeting in relation to ambient air quality in Delhi,” the bench said.
The matter was listed for next hearing on November 16.
As per its report, the ambient air quality in Delhi during the odd-even implementation period was found to have deteriorated further than the level when the restriction was not in force.
Earlier, the CPCB had told NGT that the decline in vehicular emission in the second week of odd-even was not a dominant enough factor to impact the pollution levels. The CPCB had monitored several pollutants between April 1-14 before the odd-even period and April 15-30 during it, to arrive at the conclusion.
The NGT was hearing a petition filed by scientist Mahendra Pandey who had sought independent monitoring of air quality index and alleged that vehicular emission was not a major contributing factor to pollution.
In his petition, while referring to an IIT Roorkee study, Pandey had claimed that no significant change in air quality was registered during the first phase of the scheme which was earlier in force between January 1 and 15.
(With inputs from the PTI)