Petition challenging odd-even initiative filed before NGT

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CPCB reports show scheme had no impact on ambient air quality in 2016: plea

A plea challenging the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme announced by the Delhi government was filed at the National Green Tribunal on Monday.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on September 13 announced that in a bid to curb air pollution in the national capital, the car rationing scheme will be rolled out between November 4 and 15.

The plea filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal, however, challenged the effectiveness of the scheme, stating that reports from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed that the odd-even policy has had no impact on the ambient air quality in the Capital.

“At a time when the country’s top environmental pollution control boards like the CPCB and Delhi Pollution Control Committee [DPCC] has unequivocally stated that the odd-even policy, when implemented in the year 2016, failed to curb the air pollution menace, the stand of the government of Delhi to implement the odd-even policy merely on a study done by people of other countries, is not only unpleasant but also downgrades the reputation of the CPCB and the DPCC,” the plea contended.

Under the vehicle rationing scheme, rolled out in the Capital twice earlier in January and April 2016, odd and even numbered vehicles are permitted to ply on alternate days.

The Chief Minister on Friday had said that the odd-even policy was part of the seven-point action plan, ‘Parali Pradushan’ (pollution caused by crop stubble burning), that includes distribution of anti-pollution masks, mechanised sweeping and water sprinkling among other measures.

Seeking the quashing of the said action plan, the plea contended that the AAP government’s decision to implement the vehicle rationing scheme was based on unscientific studies.

“The decision of the Delhi government to implement the odd-even policy in November 2019, ignoring the findings of two top-level institutes of the nation dealing with environmental pollution, has given a wrong message among Indian scientist community and most of them are questioning the use of doing detailed scientific analysis study…” the plea claimed.

‘Submit study’

The plea moved in the green panel has sought directions to the Delhi government to submit studies on which the decision of implementation of the odd-even scheme was based.

The plea further sought constitution of a committee of senior scientists to check the veracity of the study.

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