No odd-even scheme until Delhi govt proves it is effective: NGT

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The government earlier to ensure smooth transportation had directed the Delhi Transport Corporation to hire at least 500 buses in the city.

"We will put justification for odd-even to NGT tomorrow", the Delhi government in a response to NGT said.

Hours after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) gave a go-ahead to the odd-even scheme without any exemptions to two-wheelers, the Delhi government refused to implement it, saying they will approach the green court again on Monday.

After a meeting chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, transport minister Kailash Gahlot announced that the measure, which was to be implemented between November 13 and 17, was being "called off" as the number of buses were inadequate and women's safety could not be compromised.

Terming the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's decision as hasty, the tribunal said that the odd-even policy can not be arbitrarily imposed in the state.

Giving nod to the Odd-Even scheme considering the severe air pollution levels, the NGT directed "no exemption" for two wheelers, government servants, VIPs or women. "Act immediately or we will attach government treasury", it said. We (the Centre) can only help, Delhi government has to implement the reforms on the ground. "This is not feasible to arrange such a large number of buses at this stage", a Delhi government statement said.

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"The odd-even will go on". Earlier, the state government had exempted the 2-wheelers and CNG-run vehicles from the odd-even rule.

"We will not allow it until you prove that it's not counter-productive", the NGT said. "No exemption of any kind to anyone, including two-wheelers, women, public officers or politicians, except essential services", NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said on Saturday.

The scheme will come into effect Monday for a week and the Delhi government claims it will cut down vehicular pollution to half, one of the major sources of pollution.

"Why wasn't this implemented when the air quality index had become bad?" the NGT said.

The tribunal will hear the Delhi government's reports on what policies have been implemented to counter Delhi pollution and will deliver its verdict on the odd-even scheme on Saturday.

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