Plea filed in NGT challenging implementation of Delhi government's odd-even scheme
A plea was filed in the National Green Tribunal on Monday challenging the AAP government's decision to re-launch the odd-even road rationing scheme from November 4–15. The scheme has been implemented twice before in the national capital.
The plea filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal said the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had done an assessment of the impact of earlier implementation of odd-even scheme on air quality of Delhi and found that ambient air quality of the city during the implementation had deteriorated even more than the one when the said restriction was not in place.
'At a time when country's top environmental pollution control boards like Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Committee has unequivocally stated that odd even policy, when implemented in the year 2016 failed to curb the air pollution menace, stand of 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 institutes like CPCB and DPCC,' the plea said.
Under the scheme, odd and even numbered vehicles ply on alternate days. It was implemented in Delhi during January and April of 2016.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on September 13 that the odd-even scheme was part of the seven-point 'Parali Pradushan' action plan that also includes mass distribution of anti-pollution masks, mechanised sweeping and water sprinkling on roads, tree plantation, and special plans for 12 pollution hotspots in the city.
Seeking quashing of the 'Parali Pradushan' action plan, the plea said the Delhi government's decision to implement the road rationing policy was on the basis of an unscientific study conducted by persons of foreign country, which will set a wrong precedent in the country.
'The decision of Delhi government to implement the odd-even policy in November 2019 while ignoring the findings of two top level institutes of the nation dealing with environmental pollution in the national capital has given a wrong message among Indian scientists' community and most of them are questioning the use of doing detailed scientific analysis study if the government will intentionally ignore their findings and will act on the basis of unscientific study and that too by persons of foreign countries,' it said.
The plea has sought directions to the Delhi government to submit the studies done by foreign countries on the basis of which the AAP government has decided to implement the odd-even policy. It also sought constitution of a committee of senior scientists to check the veracity of the study.
The CPCB in its report in 2016 had told the NGT that there is no data to suggest that odd-even scheme has any impact on decrease in vehicular pollution and the fluctuations in PM10 and PM2.5 is due to weather and change in wind patterns.