Delhi smog: Decision on odd-even today, air quality severe as schools reopen

Delhi Pollution LIVE Green Court NGT Hearing On Delhi Government's Odd Even Rule To Curb Smog

Delhi Pollution LIVE Green Court NGT Hearing On Delhi Government's Odd Even Rule To Curb Smog Delhi

The AAP government had said it would file a review petition against the NGT's decision rejecting most exemptions given under the Odd-Even scheme, including those to two-wheelers and women.

A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Delhi government to submit reports or studies on the basis of which it planned to enforce the scheme from November 13 to November 17. "Delhi Government has still not moved modification application on NGT on the issue of odd-even", the NGT said.

While criticism against the odd-even formula is sharp and strong from several quarters, many experts still feel that the AAP's plan to control vehicular pollution should be allowed to implement in Delhi throughout the winter, when air pollution turns worst.

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 the air with a diameter less than 2.5 and 10mm respectively, go above the 300 and 500 units for 48 hours.

"What is the justification for permitting two wheelers which are a serious contributor to air pollution?" The NGT said that the emergency vehicles shall get an exemption during the odd even scheme.

The green panel noted that despite specific directions passed by it on Thursday, construction activity was still rampant in the NCR. Delhi's public transportation can not take that load.

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It permitted the operation of industries which are providing essential services and goods like food items and medical facilities.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today agreed to hear a petition filed by advocate RK Kapoor which seeks "immediate measures" to check the rising pollution in Delhi and its surrounding areas, which has become an global headline for a week now.

The NGT also termed the odd-even scheme with these exemptions a farce as the Delhi government also failed to provide data related to its usefulness from its earlier experiences.

Stopping trucks from entering Delhi is almost impossible for the government as there is no alternative for these heavy vehicles to pass by without entering the capital city. The scheme, which alternatively bars even and odd numbered cars from plying on Delhi roads was meant, in some measure, to stem the rise and rise of noxious elements in the air that the larger NCR and surrounding areas are breathing.

The situation has highlighted some of the real hurdles in solving Delhi's air pollution problem.

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