Delhi government unlikely to prune odd-even exemptions
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Tuesday said that Delhi government was unlikely to make any changes in the categories of exemptions.
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Tuesday said that Delhi government was unlikely to make any changes in the categories of exemptions. “Our public transport system is not robust enough to accommodate the surge in passengers if exemption is not granted to two-wheeler riders and women. The government will continue to grant exemption to all those who were kept out of the scheme in the previous two editions,” Gahlot said.
Others exempted from complying with the policy include vehicles of the President, vice-president, Prime Minister, central ministers, Chief Justice of India, governors and chief ministers of other states, embassies, those with CNG stickers and those bearing ministry of defence numberplates.
The decision to implement the odd-even road rationing scheme in November was announced by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as part of the government’s seven-point action plan to combat air pollution, which surges during the months of October and November due to stubble and residual crop burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.
Delhi government had earlier implemented the odd-even scheme twice, in January and April 2016. The third edition in December 2017 had to be called off after National Green Tribunal refused to grant exemption to any person, officer or individual and two-wheelers.
On a plea filed by Delhi government, Supreme Court in September 2018 had stayed the NGT order and exempted scooters, motorbikes and women driving four-wheelers from the odd-even scheme. The apex court agreed to the argument that the public transport system would not be able to accommodate the extra load.
The odd-even scheme was introduced by the AAP government as a novel measure to combat vehicular pollution, especially during winter. In the scheme, odd and even-numbered vehicles ply on alternate working days. It is implemented when PM10 and PM2.5 rises to 500 microgram per cubic metre (µg/m3) and 300 µg/m3, respectively, for 48 hours.
While announcing the odd-even scheme this year, Kejriwal had said that studies showed that it led to a reduction in pollution by 10-13%. He had added that pollution is at its peak during this period due to stubble burning and Diwali fireworks.