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New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) introduced the Odd-Even scheme of emission control, last November. Now, NGT has notified the Delhi government that two-wheelers and women drivers can be exempted from it. The scheme will be initiated only when there is a serious rise in air pollution levels.
Delhi government had implemented the Odd-Even scheme once. But due to the lack of proper planning and awareness, it wasn't a success. However, the officials are much more prepared now.
The Odd-Even philosophy is rather interesting. As per the scheme, each day only vehicles with numbers ending with either an odd or an even digit can run on public roads.
Suppose, if we take a Monday, even-number vehicles can be used while those having registration numbers ending with an odd digit cannot be taken out. On Tuesday, odd-number vehicles can run while even-number ones cannot.
The public is in a relief now since two-wheelers — the biggest mode of daily commuting in Delhi — do not come under the scheme. Initially, only police vehicles, ambulances, fire engines and other forms of emergency vehicles were exempted.
According to the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for Delhi and the National Captial Region (NCP), the Odd-Even scheme is applicable when particulate matter, PM10 and PM2.5 rise to 500 micrograms per cubic metres and 300 micrograms per cubic metres respectively, for 48 hours.
As per reports, 68 lakh two-wheelers account to Delhi's urban traffic and it would be difficult to bring all of them under the scheme. Additional Solicitor General, A N S Nadkarni pleaded to the bench involving Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta to exempt two-wheelers from the scheme. As for women drivers, the exemption was done considering their safety.
The bench shared, "The submission of additional solicitor general is that women and two-wheelers may be granted an exemption. We accede to his request and for the time being, stay the operation of the direction."
Thoughts On The Odd-Even Scheme Of Pollution Control
It was on 11 November 2017 when NGT introduced the Odd-Even philosophy for all road users of the capital, irrespective of any social status. Though aimed to improve the air quality and in turn the health of the public, the scheme seemed to be too strict to be practical. Now that the officials have relaxed it a bit by exempting two-wheelers and women drivers, the Odd-Even scheme will be better welcomed by the public.