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Delhi govt's no show at NGT hearing, Supreme Court enters plea
14 November 2017, 12:45 | Todd Saunders
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The local government in Indian capital of New Delhi on Saturday cancelled its plan to implement odd-even vehicle rationing formula from Monday aimed at reducing the blanket of smog enveloping the city and outskirts, officials said.
There were speculations that the Delhi government may not file a review petition against the NGT order as a separate petition filed by a citizen is up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon. The Green Court suggested that the implementation of odd-even scheme makes sense when the PM-10 level is above 500 micrograms per cubic metre and the PM-2.5 goes above 300 micrograms per cubic metre.
The green panel rapped the AAP government for claiming that the decision of rolling out the car-rationing scheme was undertaken following the guidelines of the Environmental Pollution Control Authority (EPCA). After the meeting was concluded the odd-even was called off and the AAP made a decision to file another plea to reconsider the scheme with the exemption condition given by the party.
The government had exempted women, government officials and two-wheelers from the rationing.
"What is the justification for permitting two wheelers which are a serious contributor to air pollution?"
On Saturday, the green court gave the go ahead to the odd-even scheme and disapproved of all the exemptions that were given during the previous two phases of odd-even in January and April 2016. "No single person, government or organisation can improve the air quality of Delhi", Khattar wrote to Kejriwal, also asking him what steps has the AAP taken to check stubble burning within the national capital.
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It permitted the operation of industries which are providing essential services and goods like food items and medical facilities.
The Delhi government said it will approach the green court again on Monday, and request that exemptions be given for women drivers and two-wheelers. Large parts of northern India are also affected - in fact the air in some cities is worse than in Delhi.
"At the moment we are calling it off".
Nikhil Pahwa, an activist and journalist who has written about air pollution, outlined 22 different ideas on Twitter to curb it, adding that the government has always been aware of such measures.
The Delhi government on Monday also chose to work out a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with state-owned helicopter service company Pawan Hans for aerial sprinkling of water over the city to contain pollution. The harassment one goes through as a woman using public transport was enough to prompt me to put my savings into a depreciating asset; it wasn't just a vehicle for me, it was my independence.
As per the latest updates, schools in Delhi have reopned today, but Gurugram schools still remains closed as poor quality of air is harmful. Pollution in Delhi gets aggravated during winter months.
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