Allow odd-even exemptions for one more year, Delhi government pleads with NGT -Jasjeev Gandhiok

-The Times of India

NEW DELHI: A decision on rolling out the odd-even traffic restrictions in the city will now be taken on Tuesday after the Delhi government filed a review petition in the National Green Tribunal asking for exemptions for twowheelers and women for one year, or till 2,000 more buses start operating in the capital.

The petition came on a day when the spell of "severe" air quality in Delhi completed a full week. PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels have now been over the "emergency" threshold for 48 hours, which calls for immediate rollout of the odd-even scheme under the graded response action plan.

Instead, the issue is still before the tribunal. The review petition was filed on Monday afternoon after the Delhi government called off the odd-even scheme on Saturday in response to NGT's order that there should be no exemptions to the plan.

In its petition, the government said implementing the scheme without exemptions would take nearly 34 lakh two-wheelers off the roads and force around 25 lakh people to use other modes of transport. It would require at least 2,500 buses to accommodate those passengers.

According to the petition, Delhi has 1.06 crore registered vehicles, out of which 68 lakhs are two-wheelers.

"In case the scheme is implemented without addition of such number of buses, it will cause great hardship to these persons and there is every likelihood that the economic activities in Delhi may face large scale disruption, besides affecting the livelihood of a majority of two wheelers owners," the petition stated.

The petition informed the NGT that the Delhi government had been unable to procure sufficient number of buses so far due to non-availability of land for construction of depots. However, space for about 2,000 buses has been created and the Delhi government has already approved the proposal to engage 1,000 such buses under the cluster scheme, with another 1,000 to be purchased by DTC.

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The Times of India, 14 November, 2017,

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