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Delhi pollution: NGT slams govt, SC to hear plea over rising smog

13 November 2017

The concentration of particulate matter was recorded at over seven-times the norm even as primary schools were set to reopen.Meanwhile, the AAP government will approach the National Green Tribunal on Monday with a review petition on the Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme.

To reduce the pollution level, the Delhi government had ordered the implementation of the odd-even rationing of vehicles from today. The review plea was to be filed against the earlier order to implement odd and even without any exemption.

Thus, the AAP government, which was supposed to implement the scheme by allowing vehicles with registration number ending with an even number on roads on even dates while those ending with an odd number on odd dates beginning from Monday to Friday (November 13-November 17) for a period of five days, has chose to cancel its plan for the time being. Naginder Sharma, media advisor to the Chief Minister of Delhi told Firstpost that a review petition will be filed in the NGT today.

"The government had taken a decision regarding odd-even, but the NGT observation had come after that".

"We can not ignore the pollution", the Supreme Court bench said, adding that it will hear the plea today itself after finishing the matters listed on its board.

Gargava of the CPCB, who is in charge of monitoring air quality, said Delhi's air has been consistently in the "hazardous" zone, despite measures such as a halt to construction and increasing vehicle parking charges four-fold to encourage people to use public transportation.

"The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a petition filed by advocate RK Kapoor which seeks immediate measures to check the rising pollution in Delhi and it's surrounding areas, which has become an worldwide headline for a week now", reports said.

The question which everyone is now asking, is what the Arvind Kejriwal government is planning to do now that the government's odd-even plan is in limbo.

It sought that the exemptions be allowed for one year till the government procured 2,000 buses for public transport to tackle lakhs of commuters.

The AAP had alleged that the subtle burning in Punjab and Haryana, was the main cause of the rising pollution in Delhi. "We are re-filing before NGT that two wheelers and women be exempted from Odd Even", Rai said while addressing a press conference here.

Incidentally, implementing odd-even is probably the only option left with the Delhi's AAP government to control the severe air pollution.

The Delhi government declared a public health emergency last week after pollution levels in the city spiked, a yearly phenomenon blamed on a combination of illegal crop burning in northern states, vehicle exhaust, and unbridled construction activity. Other state governments would do well to learn from AAP's example.

Delhi pollution: NGT slams govt, SC to hear plea over rising smog