Delhi pollution: Govt agrees to bring back odd-even if pollution remains ‘severe’ 2 days in a row

The Supreme Court had approved the EPCA’s graded response action plan on Friday.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: December 6, 2016 4:07 am
Delhi, delhi pollution supreme court, pollution, Centre for Science and Environment, health emergency, Central Pollution Control Board, news, latest news, India news, national news, Delhi news Hazy Smoggy morning at the Qutab Minar in New Delhi. Express Photo/File

AT A meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung Monday, the Delhi government said it will comply with the Supreme Court-monitored Environment Pollution Control Authority’s (EPCA) plans to implement the odd-even car scheme once the order is formally out. The EPCA had suggested the implementation of the scheme if pollution levels persist in the “emergency” bracket of more than 500 for PM 10 or more than 300 for PM 2.5 or both for two days at a stretch.

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“When EPCA executive director Sunita Narain read out the action plan, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Delhi government officials said the government will implement the graded response to air pollution, including rolling out the odd-even scheme, if there is an emergency situation,” sources said.

The Supreme Court had approved the EPCA’s graded response action plan on Friday.

While some Delhi government officials reportedly felt the two-day window to prepare for and implement the odd-even scheme was not enough time, EPCA chief Bhure Lal told The Indian Express that the EPCA’s plans were finalised after consultations with all stakeholders.

“All stakeholders, including the Delhi government and the central government’s Central Pollution Control Board, were consulted before we put together the graded response action plan. The Delhi government never raised reservations prior to us submitting the plan to the Supreme Court,” Lal said.

“The action plan gives the authorities a one-month window to prepare for measures to be implemented before critical pollution days set in. If the government fails to implement any of these court-ordered measures, action will be taken,” Lal added.

The meeting, which saw environment minister Imran Hussain, traffic police, the municipal corporations, the DPCC and other stakeholders in attendance, also discussed other measures such as stopping entry of trucks, construction activities and shutting of schools.

“EPCA feels that the NGT’s order to install air purifiers in government schools was too expensive a proposition,” a source said.

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