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12 November 2017, 12:48 | Todd Saunders
Odd-even scheme: Delhi government announces free bus service, DTC has 1 bus for 45000 people
Earlier this week, the Delhigovernment had announced implementation of the odd-even scheme from November 13-17, given the high level of smog in the capital.
The air quality remains at hazardous levels across the city, which has been under a haze for days together.
The green court asked the government to remove exemptions given to women drivers, two-wheelers as well as government servants.
"The odd-even will go on".
While passing several directives, the NGT said every entry point to Delhi should be properly managed by the city government, the corporations should ensure that there was no congestion, and Uttar Pradesh and Haryana should depute special forces at the border of the national capital to avoid traffic jams.
The Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot on Friday tweeted "To encourage use of public transport during Odd- Even, Delhi govt to allow free travel for commuters in all DTC and Cluster buses from 13-17 November".
The NGT ruled that only emergency vehicles will be exempted.
The NGT also asked the Delhi Traffic Police to deploy its personnel at traffic lights, observing that nearly all the main roads in the city are witness to diesel vehicles which are older than 10 years and petrol vehicles which are older than 15 years. The US-based passenger carrier United Airlines temporarily suspended its Newark-IGI airport flights due to concerns over poor air quality in New Delhi.
He said the government would struggle to cope with the extra pressure on public transport while the biggest issue was "the safety and security of women".
The Delhi government is being represented by advocate Tarunvir Kehar.
So at the moment we are calling it off.
In a statement, the Delhi government said that it "feels that considering the large number of two-wheelers in Delhi, unless adequate number of buses are available, implementation of odd-even will cause great hardship to such persons".
The Centre-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) attributed the rise in pollution to the lowering of the "boundary layer" keeping pollutants trapped near the surface and preventing their escape into the upper layer of the atmosphere.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded that Delhi's average AQI at 7 p.m. was 445 (on a scale of 0 to 500) while the PM2.5 hovered around 442 units, considered "severe".
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