No odd-even without exemptions, says Delhi government

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Not only the two-wheelers but women and government employees also won't be exempted from the odd-even rule.

Questioning the Delhi government's odd-even vehicle rationing scheme between 13-17 November proposed to combat the rising pollution levels in the national capital, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said that it will not allow its implementation until the state government proves its efficacy and that it is not counter-productive.

Terming the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's decision as hasty, the tribunal said that the odd-even policy can not be arbitrarily imposed in the state.

However, no decision has so far been taken on a proposal to reduce Metro fares which were hiked recently and is causing concern among the passengers.In the wake of alarming rise in air pollution level in the national capital, the Aam Aadmi Party government had on Thursday announced roll out of the Odd-Even scheme for vehicles from November 13 till 17. "Act immediately or we will attach government treasury", it said. "This is not feasible to arrange such a large number of buses at this stage", a Delhi government statement said. "This government gives highest priority to the safety and security of women", he added.

"The odd-even will go on". The tribunal directed to implement the odd-even "right away" without waiting for 48 hours, in case PM2.5 and PM10 go beyond 400 and 700 units respectively. "We are slashing prices on Ola Share (facility that helps travellers save cost by sharing it with other Ola users), to be made available starting Rs 35, to encourage adoption of shared rides", Ola said. Following this, the NGT gave a go-ahead to odd-even but with conditions.

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He said only CNG vehicles, emergency services such as ambulance and fire, and vehicles carrying waste shall be exempted.

The Delhi government is also planning to introduce 500 additional buses to the existing fleet of around 4,000 DTC buses, officials said on Saturday.

On April 21, last year, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had told NGT that there was no data to suggest that the odd-even scheme has led to a decline in vehicular pollution in Delhi-NCR.

"Why wasn't this implemented when the air quality index had become bad?" the NGT said.

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