Delhi Government Scraps Odd-Even Plan

The government of Delhi has cancelled its plan to implement the Odd-Even road rationing scheme from Monday that was meant to help lift the toxic blanket of smog that has enclosed Delhi for the last few days.

The decision was announced after an emergency cabinet meeting within hours of the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) conditional acceptance of the Odd-Even scheme.

The government is not ready to compromise on the safety of women after the NGT ordered that there should be no exemption to anyone except emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire tenders, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said.

“We also did not have enough public transport alternatives to accommodate the over-60-lakh two-wheeler riders”, he added.

“Odd-even was not to satisfy anybody’s ego. Women being vulnerable cannot be exposed to risks. The Delhi government cannot risk the safety of women during the odd-even period. Will not implement odd-even without exemptions to women,” party’s Delhi unit chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj Member of Legeslative Assembly, Greater Kailash & Secretary-Delhi, Spokesperson, Aam Aadmi Party tweeted.

On Monday, the government will file an appeal in the Green Court to reconsider its “no exemption” for women and two-wheelers.

The decision to call-off the scheme was taken at a meeting chaired by Arvind Kejriwal and attended by ministers, including Gahlot, Gopal Rai and Imran Hussain.

Senior officials, including the Chief Secretary, were also present in the meeting at Kejriwal’s residence.

Earlier this week, the Delhi government had announced the implementation of the odd-even scheme from November 13-17, given the elevated level of smog in the capital. Schools were also shut down till Sunday.

In the report of IIT-Kanpur study, which covered the period 2013-14, has said that during winters, vehicles are the second largest and the “most consistent” contributing source of pollutants PM10 and PM2.5.

In terms of percentage, it comes to around 20-25 per cent during winters, the report says. The contribution of road dust is negligible during the colder months unlike summers when it plays a bigger role.

However, the share of two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers, trucks and light commercial vehicles in the total vehicular contribution shows that trucks and two-wheelers are the major polluters.

The odd-even scheme was implemented for 15 days from January 1-15 and April 15-30 last year.