An NGT bench headed by Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar examined the Arvind Kejriwal governments' odd-even scheme on Friday and said it would be on hold till Saturday. It asked the state government to prove the efficacy of the scheme.
"Small cars are not a serious contributor to pollution. Heavy diesel vehicles are a problem. Has odd-even been productive in reducing pollution level? Tell us if the 500 new buses you are putting on the roads are diesel vehicles or CNG," said the NGT bench.
"Keeping in mind environmental emergency and odd even, a special NGT bench will sit tomorrow, on a holiday, and Delhi govt will have to answer them why is Odd-Even necessary to be implemented now," a lawyer was quoted by ANI.
The NGT bench reportedly asked the Delhi government to submit reports of the air quality from last year, after it implemented the odd-even scheme.
The NGT reprimanded the Aam Aadmi Party government for not having enough effectiveness in imposing the car rationing system in Delhi. The bench said that it will not allow the odd-even scheme until the government proves that it is useful in the crisis situation.
Further the NGT slammed the government for not having done anything since last one year to prevent smog and pollution.
"The Supreme Court and the NGT have suggested 100 measures to curb pollution but you always opted for ddd-even. The Delhi government will have to justify this. When situation is improving, the government is trying to implement odd-even. You should have done this earlier if you wanted to. This will now cause inconvenience to people," said the NGT bench.
Last year in April, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had released a statement to NGT in which they said that there was no data justifying the odd-even scheme or any evidence that it has helped in reduction of vehicular pollution in Delhi-NCR.
Also another report from 2016, by the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) stated that there is no data which clarifies that the odd-even scheme had an impact on the decline in vehicular pollution and the fluctuations in PM10 and PM2.5 is due change in wind patterns.
The National Capital Regions including Delhi have witnessed worst air quality in a decade. On Thursday, AAP Chief, Kejriwal called upon the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana, blaming stubble burning in their respective states for the thick poisonous smog in Delhi.
The NGT also asked the AAP government that why have they exempted women and two wheelers from the proposed odd even traffic system.
Subramanian Swamy, the BJP leader, has termed the odd even traffic sysytem and said "Even & Odd number traffic management is a fraud on the public to siphon off public funds to finance AAP volunteers."
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has written a letter to the prime minister seeking Centre's intervention for financial aid to the farmers, so the stubble can be stored and burning can be avoided.
Meanwhile, the NGT has instructed the respective authorities in National Capital Region (NCR) to ensure that "there should be no crop burning." It has also asked the Delhi government to fine a lakh to the builders in the capital, who are found violating the directions