The National Green Tribunal has dismissed Delhi government’s review plea seeking exemption for two-wheelers in the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme. The tribunal said that a relaxation for two-wheelers would defeat the purpose of improving Delhi’s poor air quality.
“It is undisputed before us that there are over 60 lakh two-wheelers in Delhi. The number also consists of two-wheelers which are very old and their emissions are beyond prescribed limits,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
“It also cannot be disputed that emissions from two- wheelers are also a major source of pollution. The exemptions sought would defeat the entire purpose of improving the air quality of Delhi,” it added.
Under the vehicle rationing scheme, odd and even numbered vehicles ply on alternate days to cut down on vehicular pollution.
The green panel also directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to introduce more buses in its fleet as per the Supreme Court order and strengthen the public transport system.
The bench had earlier sought a “workable solution” from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan for combating the problem of pollution. Every winter the pollution levels in Delhi and the National Capital Region shoot up by multiple time than the prescribed safe limit.
On December 6, the tribunal had slammed the state governments in Delhi and the neighbouring states over their action plan on ways to deal with severe air pollution in the city and directed them to file a detailed document to tackle the problem.
It had observed that air pollution was never at “normal level” in the national capital and directed the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan to file a fresh action plan.
The counsel for the Delhi government had filed the plan which recommended implementation of odd-even plan, ban on construction works and disallowing children from playing outside when air quality turns severe.
The petitioner who had filed the plea against worsening air quality in Delhi, had said the action plans submitted by the states were merely “an eye-wash”.
Earlier, the NGT had directed the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and every state pollution control board to file ambient air quality analysis before the tribunal on a monthly basis and also put up the information on their websites to enable the authority concerned to take effective steps to control air pollution.
(With inputs from PTI)