Why not stop odd-even January 8: High Court asks Delhi govt

The court said that the odd-even policy has resulted in practical difficulties and asked why should the policy not be stopped after Friday.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Updated: January 7, 2016 2:56 am
odd even, odd even policy, odd even HC, Delhi HC odd even , Delhi HC questions odd even, odd even dates, odd even news, india news A view of ITO at 8.50 am on Monday. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Stating that there were “practical difficulties” in implementation of the odd-even scheme currently being tested in the capital, the Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Delhi government to consider if the policy should be restricted to an eight-day trial period instead of 15 days.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, also asked the government to file data on daily pollution levels in the capital from January 1-7, and get “comparative data” from December to see whether pollution levels have actually reduced because of the policy. The matter will now be heard on Friday.

“This court had not interfered in your policy in December. Now that so many people have come and objected to it, how do you respond?” asked the Chief Justice, noting that the restriction on car usage was causing “inconvenience” to the public.

The bench refused to accept the argument put forth by Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra that the policy was required in public interest. “As a concerned citizen, I don’t want my child to need a nebuliser. So many people are cooperating fully with the policy,” said Mehra.

The bench, however, said it “did not want a lecture” and instead required data from the government. The court also pulled up the government for the “vague” status report it had filed, as it did not contain any data on pollution levels.

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“It has been on for one week. Has there been any change in pollution levels?” asked the bench.

Eight separate PILs on various facets of the policy have been filed before the court. During the hearing, advocate Rajiv Khosla, appearing on behalf of the Bar Association, said the policy was “not legal” as there was no provision in the motor vehicles Act to restrict traffic movement or impose penalty in such a manner. According to Khosla’s plea, the restriction permitted under the Act is only on grounds of public safety and limited to restricting movement of heavy vehicles on “unsafe” roads.

Lawyers present in court also argued that the “public cooperation” so far had been due to the “fear of penalty”. But the bench said the pilot project had “a good publicity effect to make people aware of the problem” of traffic and pollution. The court, however, suggested that data collected for one week may be sufficient for the government to come up with a proper policy.

The court also noted that the status report submitted by the government had admitted that public transport facilities are inadequate and cannot cope with passenger requirements. It also pointed out that the restriction of private cars has increased use of cabs in the city. “Are the cabs all diesel? Don’t the cabs cause pollution?” asked the bench after Mehra admitted that diesel vehicles were still operating in the city as taxi cabs. Cab operators have been given time till March 31 by the court to convert their cars to CNG.

Mehra also sought to highlight the “initiative” shown by high court judges who were walking to court or sharing cars. But the bench pointed out that even though judges can carpool or walk, there are several files that have to be moved from the court to the home offices of judges.”How do you think the files will travel?” asked the bench.

During arguments, petitioner Gunjan Khanna also said that data available on the National Air Quality Index website did not show any change in the pollution levels in the past week. “There is no reasonable nexus between this policy and the objective of curbing pollution,” said Khanna. Another PIL petitioner pointed out that senior citizens had not been exempt from the policy. Two PILs have also sought exemptions for lawyers, on the grounds that they are required to travel to various courts.

The bench refused to issue any interim orders, but indicated that it may issue orders on Friday.

With inputs from Aneesha Mathur

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  1. S
    Sirius
    Jan 6, 2016 at 10:35 am
    DG gensets at cell towers, working 24x7 could be another major source ...
    Reply
    1. S
      Sirius
      Jan 6, 2016 at 8:39 am
      Appeal to Hon. HC : The govt. of NCT and residents of Delhi-NCR have put in a lot of effort in this experiment. A lot of observations, collection of data and learnings are being made with regards to the reduction in traffic volume and its consequent impact on pollution. Hopefully more data will be collected when the weather changes around 9th Jan, where the impact of rain and winds will be measured in relation to reduction to traffic. This data will be invaluable for future planning . Please don't entertain any challenge to this experiment until the 15th Jan, and allow it to complete. Public interest is harmed greatly if the experiment is ended early, as the same effort later will cause even more hardship. This experiment itself is absolutely necessary as Hon SC has already observed ...
      Reply
      1. d
        despicable_brahmins
        Jan 6, 2016 at 5:45 pm
        Invariably all those who oppose the formula, just because it is being implemented by AAP, ARE ALL DEABLE BRAHMIN DOUCHES.
        Reply
        1. S
          Sunil
          Jan 7, 2016 at 5:20 am
          Odd Even formula is going to fail even if no one stops it. Within 1-2 years, people will buy two cars having one odd and another even. Moreover, why the bikes / scooters have been left out when they are much more polluting than cars ? What is the total contribution of cars in pollution and whether the most polluting agents have been tackled first ? People are happy because a majority of people who don't have cars have nothing to lose and there is less congestion on roads. This doesn't mean that Odd-even formula has been successful because this was aimed at reducing the pollution in Delhi. The solution lies in enforcing shared car/taxi culture. Don't allow any car/taxi except for those who have come to Delhi from outside, without three pengers inside. Govt should make policies which favour use of electric cars which will be a long term solution.
          Reply
          1. O
            Odd_Even_Kejriwal
            Jan 6, 2016 at 9:32 am
            Kejri is w focus is to throw mud on honest people
            Reply
            1. O
              Odd_Even_Kejriwal
              Jan 6, 2016 at 10:21 am
              kerjir is complete faliure as CM..he should resign and hand over the reigns to Dr Harsh Vardhan
              Reply
              1. V
                Vivian
                Jan 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm
                Now instead of LG and Modi, on behalf of them HIGHLY CORRUPT(HC) playing spoil sports. Bloody scoundrels!
                Reply
                1. V
                  Vick Mederata
                  Jan 7, 2016 at 4:51 pm
                  I'm suprised they people actually believed on this farcical action that has cost delhi people time and money and inconvenience. Is that the job of Delhi Chief Minister? ... Cops have fined people to take no it their cars that is gross violation of citizen of India rights... will courts take them to task?... And after this fiasco will AAP still sit tight shamelessly in Delhi embly? They probably will... All news paper reports were sitting on a dope when all this happened? .. Or did they do investigative journalism and call this bluff? ... the courts keep accepting Govts plea and shut the eye to the real cause taking the entire city for a spin... as I see this episode is a failure of everyone in the state .. people, govt, news, courts.. who's laughing.. Someone should be. It is a joke.
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Vick Mederata
                    Jan 7, 2016 at 4:40 pm
                    The very ODD even plan is for farming the delhi citizen as crop for auto and taxi alternate in order for AAP to garner a following. He knows next time Delhi will vote either congress or bjp. This is a political scheme. The citizens of the city have paid high costs personally in fear of penalty as they know it's a matter of 15 days. In 7 days they have seen through the farce of AAP. What is The Real Cause of Pollution in delhi. Private Cars? Here's the answer they contribute no more than 8 percent that can be washed away by Delhi green cover. The real pollutants are heavy industries belt all around Delhi in Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Punjab. Write on Google Map Industries and factories around Delhi and see red dots appear all around the city that engulf the capital. The fumes and smoke released daily from them in production crosses over delhi in a whistle. Thousands of factories release ges. These ges in winters cannot go high into sky that in summers they do. They settle down in a smog. Therefore even on a low car plying day the color of atmosphere is still grey. The dust from Rajasthans desert flies into the city and which is the spm. As we overpoted Delhi, As we remove more if it's cleaning capacity of its forests that is 12 percent only and reduced by 40 percent, As we need more products for consumption and increase factories around us, Delhi will become worst than ever. Even if you stop all cars for 10 days and have no traffic, the city will have same smog. Yes it will come down by 10 percent that is it. Kejriwal doesn't know Delhi problem? I researched this in a day. And a the people are blindly following odd even rule like rats behind a pies piper taking them to drown. So don't be that naive. When someone makes a point, research on your own. Don't accept his world because he is a minister. There are far more intelligent people in Delhi over Kejriwal. And lastly let us not be so lazy that we shut our eyes to a serious problem that is set to explode, like sitting on a forest fire and spitting on it to switch it off. You need mive overhauls that will cost millions to relocate industries away from Delhi border in different states. Those states accept? Central direction is needed there. The polluting states have conveniently placed factors near delhi to deliver goods quickly and lower cost. Get Delhi Green Cover it's lungs back to give the city Oxygen. We keep adding people to city and keep cutting trees down that clear out our pollution. Then think odd even will save the day. Aren't we all naive little children.
                    Reply
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                      himanshu kalpana
                      Jan 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm
                      Pollution is a complex issue with many causes (vehicle, power plants, factories, burning garbage, dust on roads, etc.). Delhi Govt just did a small scale experiment to find out effects of less vehicles (less smoke, less traffic, less accidents, less fuel consumption, hence less car maintenance). The result is very encouraging. Results will be analyzed and more changes will be brought in (cover two-wheelers, etc.). Govt can't allow citizens to endlessly buy vehicles. Govt needs to bring in other changes: 1. increase vehicle registration fees to discourage vehicles (Singapore did it). 2. shut down inefficient power plants (Delhi Govt doing it). 3. Retrsict number of vehicles in a home. 4. vacuum cleaning of roads (Will startr in Delhi soon). 5. stop burning of garbage (Delhi Govt has an APP where anybody can report an incident and Govt will act on it). 6. make m transit better (Delhi Govt to double buses and increase access to Metro). 7. reduce parking in busy area so less traffic. Increase parking fees (it costs around $500 per month for pakring in New York City so vew few opeople living in NY own cars). . Delhites are happy to see that we have a Govt who proactively acts on issues of public interest.
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                        Ashok
                        Jan 7, 2016 at 12:10 pm
                        The odd even ban is as simplistic as the suggestion of addressing crime against women by allowing men and women out on odd even numbered dates. Since men are the source of most ual crimes against women, this will seriously address women safety on streets. Yes, it might, but I really cannot endorse such policy making.
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                          Atis Mitra
                          Jan 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm
                          It is like India is shining
                          Reply
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                            ams
                            Jan 6, 2016 at 8:42 pm
                            It is not HC's business to tell Delhi Govt how many days to run such experiment. HC should get back promptly to its pending cases!!!
                            Reply
                            1. V
                              Vikrant
                              Jan 6, 2016 at 2:46 pm
                              Kejriwal and his ministers as well as all AAP mlas and supporters should only use public transport, not just for these 15 days but always. Also why doesnt kejriwal shifts to his old residence and travel in public transport now to show that he is truely a AAM ADMI
                              Reply
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                                ambrish
                                Jan 6, 2016 at 1:19 pm
                                Difficulties yes. Long time health problems -NO. Life is more important. This is no brainier? But do not blame everything on the Center.
                                Reply
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                                  Amit
                                  Jan 6, 2016 at 6:14 pm
                                  AAP is a joke.Close the schools and say the pollution is down by odd even formula...Does kejriwal talk about infrastructure...What is that???He doesnt know the meaning of that.
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                                    Amit
                                    Jan 6, 2016 at 7:35 pm
                                    If pollution was the serious concern ! Than why there is no one on the road from government department to check the pollution of the vehicles ? The government should stop be fooling people by in forcing impractical rules . The main cause is pollution they should check the vehicles strictly for pollution and heavy fines should be done on those vehicles and can impound the same then only one can understand their seriousness.
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                                      Amit
                                      Jan 8, 2016 at 9:57 am
                                      Wonderful, self essed results ! Travel time cut by 30% due to less vehicles ad smoother rides. 30% less fuel burnt means less pollution. Less number of vehicles on road, lower quany of fuel burnt. The decline in Petrol pumps , drop of nearly 25%, in the last few days confirms the benefits! Well done CM, keep the ball rolling by improvising the system.....
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Rudram
                                        Jan 6, 2016 at 11:24 pm
                                        Have High Court Judges gone mad? The guy in Madurai issues dress codes for Hindu temples (scared of applying them to mosques?). These guys in Delhi are sabotaging environmental programmes. Don't they have a case backlog of over 10 years? Do your job judges; let government frame policies.
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                                          Rudram
                                          Jan 6, 2016 at 11:31 pm
                                          Sanjay You are talking like a fool. People in Delhi and other large Indian cities (and in Beijing and Chinese cities) face real health problems from air and water pollution. We have to do all of the above. Dairy cattle (milk producers) also create CO2 and methane. But unlike coal and diesel and gasoline, agriculture CO2 is net zero emissions in our lifetimes. I am supportive of anti-corruption programs; but I would applaud even corrupt Sonia hi if Congress will reduce air and water pollution.
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                                            Arvind
                                            Jan 6, 2016 at 10:45 am
                                            What about political pollution spreads by Arvind Kejriwal which is more dangerous than Air pollution.AK's Policy is heat and run and then blame BJP for its failure and earn sympathy of Aam Aadmi in Delhi.There is difference in functioning of Tughlaq and Arvind Kejriwal both are whimsical in their ruling.While implementing any policy one has to see it from all angles.One can not say anything but pray god give him some wisdom to rule state sincerely and honestly without any drama to attract voters
                                            Reply
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