New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday turned down the Delhi government’s plea to exempt women drivers and two-wheelers from the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme, saying there was “no logic” to the proposal. The top green tribunal also asked the Delhi government to choose a spot in the city by 4 p.m. on Tuesday and sprinkle water from helicopter on the area to know the efficacy of the step in reducing air pollution.
Rapping the Delhi government for its plea, the tribunal asked why should exemption be given to two-wheelers when they are a major cause of pollution.
“On what basis are you asking exemption for two-wheelers,” NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
On Delhi government counsel Tarunvir Singh Khehar raising the issue of women’s security, the tribunal said: “Why don’t you run Women’s Special buses?”
The tribunal also rapped the Delhi government over “delay” in the procurement of 4,000 additional buses and noted that sprinkling of water on pollution hotspots was not being done properly.
“Why don’t you act upon those who are responsible for pollution. How many people have you penalised or challaned so far,” Justice Kumar asked.
Following the tribunal’s order, the Delhi government withdrew its petition. The tribunal said the Delhi government could move a fresh petition before it on the traffic rationing scheme. It said Delhi government could use helicopters, if necessary, to sprinkle water at a pollution hotspot in the city to know its efficacy.
“Choose one place in Delhi by 4 p.m. and sprinkle water and thereafter calculate the particle pollution to know how much difference does it make,” the tribunal said.
The tribunal also allowed the National Highways Authority of India to go ahead with construction of the Delhi-Meerut Highway at the eastern periphery of the city but said there should be no dust pollution. The Delhi government had on Saturday decided to halt the odd-even traffic restriction scheme, which was scheduled to be implemented from November 13 to 17. It moved the NGT on Monday with a review petition seeking exemptions for two-wheelers and women.