Delhi

Supreme Court questions Delhi’s odd-even scheme

A girl walking with her face covered in Delhi because of the city’s smoggy conditions. The Court blamed the factories for the rise in pollution.

A girl walking with her face covered in Delhi because of the city’s smoggy conditions. The Court blamed the factories for the rise in pollution.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

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‘What is the point of banning cars with certain numbers to reduce pollution when “third-rate” autorickshaws, taxis ply the roads’.

The Supreme Court on Monday questioned the “logic” behind the Delhi government’s odd-even scheme, saying what is the point of banning cars with certain registered numbers to reduce pollution when “third-rate” auto rickshaws and taxis ply the roads.

A Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta ordered the Delhi government to produce data and records of the previous years, by Friday, to show the effectiveness of the scheme launched by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi.

First day

The questions from the apex court came on the first day of the implementation of the odd-even scheme.

“If people are hiring third-rate vehicles and go the same distance, what is the object you want to achieve? What is the logic behind odd-even? Banning diesel vehicles we can understand, but what is the point of odd-even scheme. Issue is you are stopping one vehicle and others are plying...” Justice Mishra addressed the Delhi government side.

Justice Mishra then went on to question the Delhi government about the “more than 5,000 factories you permitted which are adding to the pollution.”

“They are permitted under the Master Plan,” senior lawyer D.N. Goburdhun, for the Delhi government, responded to the court.

“We are not bound by the Master Plan,” Justice Mishra retorted.

“But these factories are non-polluting ones, they are permissible,” Mr. Goburdhun replied.

Watch | Delhi is choking again

Energy consumers

At this point, Justice Gupta intervened to say that energy consumers also have a role to pay in the rise in air pollution. Air-conditioners often work at full blast in offices and homes. Conservation of energy starts at home.

Justice Gupta, however, said increasing the efficiency of mass transport is often a better solution to cut pollution. However, he also noted that the Indian psyche finds it belittling to use the public transport.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 6:10:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/supreme-court-questions-delhis-odd-even-scheme/article29881788.ece

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