Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Delhi government files plea in NGT seeking changes in its previous directions

Delhi government files plea in NGT seeking changes in its previous directions

But as India's federal environmental court ruled against any exemptions - not including emergency vehicles and those running on greener compressed natural gas (CNG), or most of Delhi's public transport - local authorities said the scheme would be halted. "It has already been made a decision to file a review petition and it will be done", he said.

The Delhi government has filed an appeal in the National Green Tribunal seeking certain changes in NGTs previous directions. Reacting to which the NGT was forced to wonder if all the objections raised by AAP and the plea to re-look the petition was only a media flaunt. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the petition today itself, saying that "We can not ignore the pollution". "We are still going to ask NGT to review the existing plea", he said. As the NGT is to take up the hearing today, there is no show of the lawyer from the Delhi government's side.

"The government can file a review petition anytime within 30 days after the order". The review petition co-incided with the re-opening of schools in the city amid hazardous levels of air pollution.

Delhi meanwhile continued to wrestle with toxic air on Saturday as the level of pollutants were in the severe category for the fifth successive day. But parents say that the move hardly bore any fruit as the government had to reopen them with the same levels of air pollution. Overall, however, there was a sense of frustration that little is perceived to have been done by the government to improve the quality of air.

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"Despite this, the visionless Arvind Kejriwal government continues to be in a indecisive state", he alleged. This time around, two-wheelers, government servants and women will also have to follow the vehicle rationing scheme.

"More than 32 lakh people travel by bikes everyday in Delhi. Rules are being violated rampantly", a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said and asked the authorities why checks were not being carried out on a regular basis. "We need to exempt them from odd-even scheme", Prakash added. With social prejudices against women being the way they are, the personal vehicle is much, much more than just a means of commuting. The harassment one goes through as a woman using public transport was enough to prompt me to put my savings into a depreciating asset; it wasn't just a auto for me, it was my independence.

The government claimed that the exemption was done keeping in mind the security of women in the city.

Speaking to Firstpost regarding the matter, AAP MLA Anil Bajpai said, "We can not compromise on the issue of women's safety".

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But, of course, AAP can't risk leaving women out of the exemptions' list - one untoward incident, and it would be doomed.

The NGT has been criticising the Delhi government for poor preparedness as the city struggled to breathe.

Since Tuesday morning, Delhi was covered with thick smog, following which health officials issued advisory to elderly and children to avoid venturing out.

"In case the scheme is implemented without addition of such number of buses, it will cause great hardship to these persons and there is every likelihood that the economic activities in Delhi may face large scale disruption, besides affecting the livelihood of a majority of two wheelers owners", the petition stated. But the NGT felt that the policy was too watered down to be effective.

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The NGT on Saturday had given a go-ahead to the Odd-Even scheme to be implemented from November 13 but reprimanded the Delhi government for acting late on rising pollution levels.

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