NGT rejects modified odd-even petition, Delhi govt files fresh ‘review’ wants NCR included
The Delhi government, during the hearing on Tuesday, was asked to withdraw the exemption application with a liberty to file again, which it did after the green court refused to modify its orders.delhi Updated: Nov 14, 2017 23:53 IST
The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday rejected the Delhi’s government’s modified plea to exempt two-wheeler riders and women in the odd-even road rationing after which the AAP government filed a fresh “review” petition.
The Delhi government, during the hearing on Tuesday, was asked to withdraw the exemption application with a liberty to file again, which it did after the green court refused to modify its orders.
The government filed its fresh review plea on Tuesday itself. The new petition urged the NGT to “review” it’s November 11 order. In the previous petition, which was heard on Tuesday, the prayer was for “modification”. It also asks the green court to “direct the neighbouring states to implement the odd even scheme”.
Earlier, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar lambasted the government for its appeal for exemption.
“This is an environmental emergency, so no one is worried. Some other kind of emergency, you people would have taken all steps… Why don’t you take positive steps? Why should we exempt anybody? If they (two-wheelers) are not polluting, we will allow them,” it said.
The Delhi government had on Monday requested the NGT to exempt women drivers and two-wheeler users in road rationing plan, which allows vehicles with odd and even registration numbers to ply on alternate days, for at least one year. The government admitted that the existing public transport system was not adequate enough to accommodate them.
In its petition, the government had said it would be able to include women and two-wheelers in the scheme only next year after more buses are procured.
The NGT, however, deflated the government’s plea during the Tuesday hearing.
“Are you doing this from an environmental point of view? What is the justification? … are you (Delhi government) not responsible for safety of ladies who do not have cars and travel by metros and buses on a daily basis? Why can’t you run special lady buses?... When reports have stated that two-wheelers are more polluting than four-wheelers, why do you intend to give arbitrary exemptions? Is this a joke? What does one stand to gain from this?”
Rapping all the government agencies for inaction, the court said, “Courts can’t hold the departments’ fingers like parents do with children. You have to take responsibility (and take action to fight pollution.”
It asked the authorities in Delhi to comply with its order to sprinkle water to bring down pollution levels.
The court gave the green signal to National Highways Authority of India to go ahead with construction of the eastern peripheral expressway , subject to an assurance by the seniormost officer of the agency that no pollution would be caused.
Industries involved in manufacturing of essential commodities and food items have been exempted from the prohibitory orders issued earlier and allowed to run. Industries that are non-polluting and conforming to pollution norms have been allowed to function by the green court.