The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday allowed the Delhi government to withdraw its application which sought a review of the previous order on Odd-Even, with the liberty to file again. While hearing the review application, the green tribunal asked the government why it chose to give arbitrary exemptions 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?” the NGT asked.
The NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar also asked the Delhi government why it can’t run ladies-only buses to solve the transport problem during Odd-Even scheme. “Why don’t you take positive steps? Why should we exempt anyone?” asked NGT. “Last time you said, you’re procuring 4000 buses, what happened to that,” the green tribunal added. The NGT also asked the government to identify most polluted areas today
and sprinkle water as it ordered taking off 10-year-old diesel vehicles off the road.
While slamming the Delhi government for not putting in place emergency measures, the green tribunal said measures should be applied by the government after dangerous levels of PM2.5 and PM10 persist for more than 48 hours. “Don’t gift infected lungs to children. They have to wear masks to school. What constitutes a health emergency according to you? Measures should be applied automatically by the government after dangerous levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 persist for more than 48 hours.”
The NGT also directed the pollution boards to submit the analysis of pollution levels on the next date of hearing for them to analyse even as all restriction imposed on the previous order will continue till the date of hearing. The green tribunal also noted that those industries whose emissions are within the parameters, are non-polluting and compliant with regulations be allowed to work.