New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Saturday cleared the deck for implementation of the odd-even vehicular scheme as a measure for combatting alarming levels of air pollution from Monday onwards.
The tribunal however, did away with the exemption granted to women, two wheelers and government servants under the scheme.
Yesterday, NGT chairperson, Justice Swatanter Kumar had asked the Delhi government to justify the odd-even road rationing scheme it planned to implement and said that only the Arvind Kejriwal government managed to convince the tribunal would the scheme be given a go-ahead.
The tribunal constantly questioned the state government over the rationale behind adopting the scheme for the second time and whether approval over it had been taken by the Lieutenant Governor (LG).
The green tribunal criticized the Arvind Kejriwal government, asking why the odd-even scheme was not introduced earlier when air quality was worse and directed the state government to implement the scheme whenever the PM10 level is above 500 micrograms per cubic metre and PM2.5 above 300 µg/m3.
The Delhi government which plans to implement the scheme, would allow private passenger vehicles with licence plates ending in odd and even numbers to ply on alternate days, from 13 to 17 November. Air pollution in Delhi has been rated “severe" in recent days after thick smog resulting from crop burning in neighbouring states enveloped the capital.
Vehicles fuelled by compressed natural gas (CNG), hybrid and emergency vehicles are exempt from the odd-even scheme. Restrictions will be applicable from 8am to 8pm and a violation will attract a fine of Rs2,000.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government last implemented the odd-even scheme in April 2016.
(PTI contributed to this story)