NEW DELHI: Just a day after it questioned the wisdom of the odd-even plan, the National Green Tribunal expanded it and made it a near-permanent feature for all of Delhi-NCR. The green court on Saturday ordered the government to automatically implement the odd-even scheme every time PM2.5 levels crossed 300 µg/m3 across a 48-hour period.
Not just Delhi, but all of the National Capital Region. That includes Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad and Muzaffarnagar.
Combined with the removal of previous exemptions, the move is more than likely to have chilling ramifications for transport across the region. The paralysis is set to give the region its worst winter of discontent in a long time.
The NGT ordered that the odd-even plan should be brought into force across NCR if PM10 level crosses 500 µg/m3 or PM2.5 level crosses 300 µg/m3. The automatic enforcement of the odd-even plan would come if the levels remain high-across a 48-hour period.
The severity of the order lies in the numbers. The safe limit for PM2.5 according to the Indian government’s standards is 60 µg/m3. And, they have been over 1000 µg/m3 in the past few days. Usual PM2.5 levels in Delhi during the winter is also well in excess of 300 µg/m3 in most parts of the city.
The NGT also directed all the neighbouring state governments not to wait for a crisis, a put in place the full mechanism to deal with environmental emergencies. It also instructed governments in the region to improve coordination.
Areas within the NCR but outside the borders of Delhi will no longer be able to thumb their noses at the city’s residents. They too have now been brought under the writ of the odd-even plan.
It was only on Friday that the NGT had questioned the Delhi government’s announcement that the odd-even plan would be implemented from Monday. It had criticised the sudden announcement of the plan as a public inconvenience
Source: Zee News