Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

After NGT rap, Delhi government defers odd-even

Cab operators 'won't apply surge pricing' during odd-even Delhi-NCR still under spell of dense smog
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The tribunal on Friday said the scheme was a "farce", and that it can not be implemented from next week without its permission.

The government is not ready "to compromise with the safety of women" after the NGT ordered that there should be no exemption to anyone except emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire tenders, he said.

The Delhi government had Thursday announced the return of the odd-even auto rationing scheme, under which private cars with odd and even number plates will be allowed to ply on roads only on alternate days.

The odd-even scheme will be in place from 8 am to 8 pm and there will exemptions for women drivers and two-wheelers.

While hearing the matter, the NGT asked the Delhi government to impose a fine of Rs 1 lakh on builders found violating directions, as construction work has been halted in view of smog and air pollution.

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The Tribunal disapproved all the exemptions that were given by the city government during the previous two phases of odd-even in January and April 2016. The tribunal said that in spite of several measures suggested by the apex court and the tribunal, the Delhi government failed to implement any of the suggestions.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked Delhi government to provide details of the benefits during the earlier implementation of the scheme.

The NGT also criticised the government for its late action in check the dip in air quality. "The number of buses that would have been available during the odd-even scheme is not totally adequate even for the present demand". A decade has passed by and still the DTC is short with at least with 50% busses than the required number. It also rapped the Arvind Kejriwal government over delay in decision on sprinkling water. Moreover, the entry of heavy vehicles from other states make the roads in Delhi congested with an increase in pollution levels.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told the tribunal that they had warned the Kejriwal government orally in advance about the impending problem.

But on Saturday, it gave a green signal to the government. The NGT directed all the neighboring state Governments and departments to ensure complete mechanism during environmental emergency, saying they must not wait for crisis situation.

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