Congress on Friday described as “anti-people” the Delhi government’s decision to adopt odd and even number formula for plying of private vehicles while BJP was more cautious, saying it supported measures to curb pollution but wondered if it was practical.
Environmentalist Sunita Narain supported the move, saying pollution in Delhi was at a health emergency level and such steps were needed.
Congress general secretary and spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad said that Arvind Kejriwal government’s decision was aimed at cheap publicity and will cause harassment to the common man.
“The Kejriwal government practises gimmickry for cheap publicity. This is not practical and will harass the common man,” he said.
BJP was, however, more circumspect in its reaction. “We welcome any step to curb pollution but it should be practical,” Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, adding that it should not happen that the measure is rejected outright.
Questioning the rationale behind the decision, Ahmad said what will happen to somebody in a health emergency if the car taking him to hospital has a number which is prohibited from plying on that day. The vehicles of MPs, MLAs and government officials will be allowed but the common man will be affected, he said.
Narain supported the decision and said it should have been implemented immediately. “I will definitely like to welcome this,” she said. She admitted that it will inconvenience people but said it was an emergency measure taken for some time.
In a radical step to curb alarming air pollution, Delhi government on Friday restricted plying of private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers to alternate days from January 1 in the national capital.
The measures were announced following an emergency meeting chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, a day after the Delhi high court compared the city to a “gas chamber ”.