New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Saturday gave its go-ahead for the return of the odd-even car rationing scheme to clear the city’s toxic air, but with certain riders. Under the plan, vehicles whose plates end with 1,3,5,7 and 9 will ply on odd-numbered dates and those ending with 2,4,6,8 and 0 will ply on even-numbered dates. These restrictions will be in place from 8am to 8pm.
Here’s a look at what will be different in the third outing of odd-even:
— The NGT green light is not just for the third phase of odd-even. As per the green court’s Saturday ruling, the car rationing will automatically be implemented whenever PM10 and PM2.5 levels cross danger marks of 500 and 300. PM10 or Particulate Matter 10 are fine particles in the air that are 10 micrometres or less in diameter, while the PM 2.5 are 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter. These pose the biggest problems as they can lodge deep into the lungs, and some may even enter the bloodstream, resulting in respiratory and heart problems.
— No exemptions to women. In the first two runs of odd-even, women were allowed to drive on either days provided there was no adult male passenger in the car.
— No exemptions to two-wheelers. The NGT on Saturday came down heavily on the Delhi government for allowing two-wheelers to run on odd-even days, despite environmental experts pointing out that these constitute a big factor in air pollution.
— No exemptions to VIPs.
— This time, the exemptions apply only to emergency services such as ambulance, police vehicles and fire trucks, and to CNG and hybrid vehicles.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Saturday also questioned the Delhi government on why it was granting exemptions to certain sections if the aim was to improve air quality. The bench also issued notices to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to show cause why exemplary cost should not be imposed on them for violation of its order putting a ban on construction activities.
The AAP government had on Thursday announced introduction of the odd-even scheme as part of a Graded Response Plan to tackle the alarming pollution levels in the capital.
The tribunal is hearing a plea for immediate action against the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR, stating that it was an “environmental emergency” which was affecting children and senior citizens the most.
The car-rationing scheme, which was enforced twice in the national capital in 2016, will be in place between November 13 and 17 from 8 am to 8 pm, PTI reported.