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Last Updated : Sep 13, 2019 02:05 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

No need for Odd-Even Scheme in Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

The union minister further said that the national capital will anyway be free of pollution within the next two years

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Moments after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the reintroduction of the Odd-Even scheme during Diwali season, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that there’s no need for it.

Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal made the announcement on September 13 as a part of his seven-point plan to fight pollution, but Gadkari insisted Delhi doesn’t need it at the moment.

The union minister further said that the national capital will anyway be free of pollution within the next two years, “but it is their decision, so let them do whatever”.

The emergency pollution control mechanism that may be launched from November 4, mandates all vehicles having registration numbers ending with an odd number to ply on odd dates and vice-versa.

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If implemented, it will run till November 15, 2019, and such a decision will be dependent on whether the pollution levels cross the benchmark set by the Central Pollution Control Board.

In the past few years, Delhi had witnessed a trend of alarming air pollution during the winters. The causes of such an anomaly were traced to excessive construction work, vehicular and industrial pollution, and primarily crop stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab.

Therefore, as a preventive step, several other measures will be implemented by the CM, including distribution of pollution masks, deployment of pollution marshals, mechanised sweeping of roads, and tree plantation drives, apart from the odd-even scheme.

The scheme, which is a part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), is an emergency measure to combat severe air pollution. It was first implemented in phases in the year 2016 to contain particulate pollution in the national capital after stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana worsened the already poor air quality of Delhi.

When it was introduced earlier it got into controversies over exemptions granted to various categories of vehicles.

Notably, the efficacy of this scheme in meeting targets has been questioned by several experts. But, the Delhi government cited Dr Ken Lee, the executive director of Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, to highlight how it “reduced particulate air pollution concentrations by 14 to 16%”.

Meanwhile, Kejriwal has said that his government will continue holding dialogues with the neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh to find alternatives to crop burning, which is the root cause behind heightened air pollution in Delhi.

He said at a press conference, “In November, stubble burning from the neighbouring states makes Delhi a gas chamber. Although Punjab and Delhi governments work together to tackle the issue, we cannot sit still this continues to happen.”

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First Published on Sep 13, 2019 02:05 pm
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