Monday, 20 November, 2017

Delhi govt's no show at NGT hearing, Supreme Court enters plea

Maharashtra moves to protect its farmers from suffering losses due to rigged Maharashtra moves to protect its farmers from suffering losses due to rigged we... Mumbai
Ben Pena | 13 November, 2017, 18:04

"This may affect the safety and security of women drivers also", the application, which is likely to be heard tomorrow, said.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the submission that rise in dust particles on roads, and stubble burning in Delhi's neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas.

The Delhi government on Monday requested the National Green Tribunal to exempt women drivers and two-wheeler users in the odd-even road rationing arrangement for at least one year, admitting that the existing public transport system was not adequate enough to accommodate them.

On Monday, the Delhi government is expected to file a review petition in the NGT asking the green court to take a relook at exemptions for both women and two-wheelers.

The government had on Saturday scrapped its plan to implement the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme it had slated to start from today, after NGT said there will be no exemption for women, two-wheelers and government servants. "We are re-filing before NGT that two wheelers and women be exempted from Odd Even", Rai said while addressing a press conference here.

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The NGT has been criticising the Delhi government for poor preparedness as the city struggled to breathe. The review petition co-incided with the re-opening of schools in the city amid hazardous levels of air pollution.

"We can only do this much, and now we will have to wait for rains to clean the atmosphere, " said Prashant Gargava, an official at the Central Pollution Control Board. "They can also file it later in the day", he said.

Gargava of the CPCB, who is in charge of monitoring air quality, said Delhi's air has been consistently in the "hazardous" zone, despite measures such as a halt to construction and increasing vehicle parking charges four-fold to encourage people to use public transportation. The smog situation in the National Capital has been deteriorating for nearly past one week. Swaraj India Party's Delhi Unit Chief, Anupam said that "I am not, in principle, opposed to the odd-even scheme as and when it is required but Delhi's public transport is in shambles". Delhi's public transportation can not take that load.

BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma also slashed down on the Delhi government remarking that, the AAP government never implemented hundred of other option suggested by the NGT to overcome the situation but was stuck on the odd even scheme only.

It had said the odd-even scheme should be implemented "without any default" as and when PM (particulate matter) 10 level goes above 500 microgrammes per cubic metre and the PM2.5 level crosses the limit of 300 microgrammes per cubic metre during a span of 48 hours.

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