Smog-hit Delhi drops auto rationing scheme

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The Delhi government, which was unhappy with the tribunal's direction of "no exemption", called off the implementation of Odd-Even rule, which was supposed to be starting from Monday, and said that they will approach the green body against seeking the expectations should stay.

November 11 (ANI): Delhi government has got the signal from a court looking environmental issues to implement the odd-even vehicle movement scheme in the national capital to reduce pollution.

The NGT on Saturday had given the go-ahead to the odd-even scheme from November 13-17. However, the NGT stated that if the scheme is implemented, no exemption should be allowed to "any person or officer and two-wheelers".

Swaraj India Party's Delhi Unit Chief, Anupam said that "I am not, in principle, opposed to the odd-even scheme as and when it is required but Delhi's public transport is in shambles. We will go back to NGT on Monday, file a review petition for them to reconsider their decision regarding the two", said Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot.

The NGT had on November 11 given a conditional nod to the AAP government's decision to implement the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme for five days from November 13, ordering that no exemption should be allowed to "any person or officer and two-wheelers". It has been a week that health emergency is declared in Delhi as hazardous smog clouds the region, making it unsafe for the people to breath. The tribunal is likely to hear the plea tomorrow. Adding another wave of commuters may result in collapse of public transportation system.

Delhi has also banned all construction, barred lorries from entering the city and shut down all schools until Sunday. During the meeting, it was discussed that the safety of women can not be compromised and even more Delhi did not have the adequate number of local buses to accommodate the Delhiites, which would be required if the scheme was to be implemented.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the submission that rise in dust particles on roads, and stubble burning in Delhi's neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas.

Ghaziabad was the most polluted city in the entire NCR with an AQI of 500 and PM2.5 at an astounding 816 units at 4.00 p.m - over 32 times the safe limit. Pollution in Delhi gets aggravated during winter months.

Air pollution is a leading cause of premature death in India.