The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed doubt on the odd-even scheme implemented by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi, and asked why it needs to be extended to 15 days even as people are facing inconvenience.
"Is it really necessary to have it for two weeks? Can't it be confined to eight days? Can you end it on Friday? People are facing inconvenience," the court told the government.
A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath was hearing several PILs filed against the odd-even scheme. The court posted the next hearing in the matter for Friday.
It also observed that there is not enough public transport to support the scheme.
"You will have to admit that you don't have enough public transport to ferry the public," The Times of India quoted the court as saying.
Besides, it also asked the Delhi government to submit a report on pollution levels in the last one week, during which the scheme was in force.
"In these six days you must have collected data related to pollution levels. We think it's sufficient for you. You will have to think about inconvenience cause to the public at large," PTI quoted the court as saying.
The Delhi government on Tuesday said "definitive decline" in PM2.5 levels was witnessed after the implementation of odd-even scheme.
"According to the scientists of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), 80% of PM2.5 air pollution is caused by vehicular traffic and reduction in its levels, even in outer areas of Delhi shows that reduction of four wheeled vehicles on roads since the New Year Day is having a positive impact," the government had said in a statement, according to TOI.
The Delhi government implemented the scheme on 1 January, 2016, for 15 days, with exemptions on Sundays, in an attempt to curb pollution in the national capital. According to the scheme, cars with even number plates would ply on even dates and others with odd number plates would be allowed on streets only on odd dates, between 8 am and 8 pm.
Women drivers and two-wheelers were exempted from the scheme. These exemptions were criticised by several petitioners, who had approached the Delhi High Court against the scheme.