Indicating its doubts on the feasibility of the government’s decision to introduce the odd-even number plate scheme from January 1, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Friday said it “may even encourage people to buy two cars”.
“The odd-even vehicle scheme which you are proposing to implement — what consequences will it have on traffic and pollution? What are the other measures (that) you propose to set up to make your plan a success? In our view, this may not serve the ends which you are trying to achieve,” said the bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.
It also cited media reports which had suggested that pollution levels in other cities, including Beijing, had increased after restrictions were imposed as people had purchased more vehicles.
“What other steps are you going to take to make your effort a success? There are reports that you are going to make exemptions; we don’t know what is the exact status. We would like you to give a definite proposal on the odd-even formula. We do appreciate that this is a good step. Taken in isolation, will it serve the end which you are trying to achieve?” asked the bench.
The tribunal also asked the government whether introducing 6,000 new buses to boost transport services would affect pollution levels. It pulled up the government for deciding to introduce the same without conducting any studies or research.
“Are you sure CNG vehicles will not cause pollution? If you are introducing 6,000 new vehicles, you should be sure that they will not cause pollution; because even electric buses cause pollution. You have to tell us that this is the best choice,” said the
“…You need space for parking a bus. One bus normally takes the place of 10 cars. If that is the scenario, tell us which 10 cars you are going to replace,” asked the bench.
The bench also noted that the Delhi Metro, which was “one of the most successful projects,” had also failed to reduce congestion on roads.
“It was supposed to do wonders. Yet roads have become much more crowded, so the expectation of decongestion has not materialised,” noted the bench.
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) also came under fire from the tribunal, during the hearing on air pollution in the city, for mismanagement of its resources and plying empty buses.
“We are shocked that (despite) requesting the DTC to conduct a study on rescheduling of their buses, they have not given any report till date. We don’t know how to get things done. Is it necessary that in every case a contempt has to be issued? We told DTC to conduct a survey and not ply empty buses. It is waste of money and resources,” it said.
The bench has asked all public authorities and the Delhi government to make their stand clear on the various issues raised during the hearing.