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NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has called-off the odd-even scheme after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) refused to exempt anyone from the car rationing regulation.
Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot made the surprise announcement on Saturday, hours after the NGT gave its conditional nod to the AAP government to implement the policy from November 13 to 17.
“Odd-even scheme from November 13-17 in the national capital has been called off in view of order by NGT which withdrew all exemptions except on plying of emergency vehicles,” Gahlot said.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had floated the idea to enforce odd-even for the third time after hazardous smog engulfed the national capital earlier this week.
The environmental protection agency pronounced its decision at a special meeting it had called earlier in the day to determine whether the scheme will help reduce the near deadly levels of air pollution in Delhi and in the National Capital Region (NCR).
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar 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.
Earlier, the government had announced exemptions for women drivers, two-wheelers and vehicles carrying children in school uniforms, besides VVIPs.
Today’s 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.
However, the tribunal exempted CNG vehicles, emergency services such as ambulance and fire, and vehicles carrying waste.
Just yesterday, the NGT had pulled up the Delhi government and demanded why it had not introduced the odd-even scheme earlier in the week, when the pollution crisis was at its worst.
(With inputs from PTI)