The Supreme Court on Friday said in spite of the Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme, pollution has reached a severe level, and again called the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Harayana and Uttar Pradesh, to report on measures taken to curb air pollution particularly related to stubble burning.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, “Do not give exemption to two-wheelers, and it will work.”
During the hearing, the judges scrutinized the Odd-Even scheme of the Delhi government in respect of air quality index data gathered in the past two years. The judges queried the Delhi government counsel, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, what purpose the scheme served by keeping out cars which contribute mere three per cent of the total pollution.
The court observed that Delhi’s local pollution is a major problem, if stubble burning which contributes 40 per cent is kept out.
“According to the authorities, stubble burning has reduced to somewhere near five per cent now…we are concerned about Delhi’s local air pollution. What is the government doing?”
The court observed the data presented by the authorities suggest the Odd-Eeven scheme had hardly any effect on improving air quality. “Question is what are you gaining by this scheme?” observed the court.
Further commenting on the social aspect of the Odd-Even scheme, the court said “Odd-Even will only affect the lower middle class but not the affluent ones since they have multiple cars… Odd-Even isn’t a solution, but public transport could be. But nothing has been done about that”, said the court.
The hearing on the matter will continue on November 25.