In a major setback for the Arvind Kejriwal government, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday once again refused to exempt women and two-wheelers from Delhi government’s odd-even traffic rationing system.
Striking down the government’s plea seeking exemptions for women and two-wheelers, the green court cited reports stating that two-wheelers were more polluting than four-wheelers.
The NGT further slammed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for giving arbitrary exemptions and asked it to explain the benefits of excluding women and two-wheelers from the scheme.
The NGT gave the go ahead to the third odd-even scheme in smog-hit Delhi from November 13-17 and exempted only emergency and CNG vehicles.
Following the NGT order, the Delhi government postponed the scheme and filed a review petition in the tribunal opposing the ban on Monday as schools in the city reopened after a five-day break.
Delhi meanwhile continued to wrest with toxic air on Tuesday as the level of pollutants were in the severe category for the seventh successive day.
The NGT, in its order, also said that in future the odd-even scheme should automatically come into force if the PM2.5 and PM10, particles in air with diameter less than 2.5 and 10mm respectively, go above the 300 and 500 units for 48 hours.
The tribunal directed that odd-even should be implemented “right away” without waiting for 48 hours, in case PM2.5 and PM10 go beyond 400 and 700 units respectively.
The NGT also asked the city government to reconsider the four-times hike in the parking fee.