The Supreme Court on Friday said that the odd-even car rationing scheme was not a permanent solution in battle against pollution in Delhi-NCR. The top court said that the odd-even only affects the lower middle class but not the affluent ones since they have multiple cars. Instead of odd-even, better public transport could be the answer but nothing has been done about that, the apex court observed. "We can try to control pollution but nature isn't in our control. This is what happens when nature is misused," remarked the apex court.
The top court also observed that odd-even may not be a permanent solution especially when the CPCB says cars constitute 3% of the pollution. The central agency had said that garbage dumps, construction wastes and road dusts were also major contributors to the pollution in the National Capital Region.
The top court said that the car rationing scheme achieved nothing and termed it as failure. The top court also raised concern over exemption for two-wheelers given by the Delhi government. The Supreme Court has ordered the top officials of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to be present in court on November 29. The states have been ordered to present their answers by November 25.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the decision on whether to extend the Odd-Even scheme will taken on November 18. The odd-even car rationing scheme is ending on November 15 i.e Friday. Kejriwal was addressing a press conference, a day after saying the odd-even scheme could be extended beyond November 15 "if the need arises". Kejriwal said that Delhi government has been informed that Delhi's air quality is expected to improve in the next two days with favourable weather. However, if the condition does not improve in these two days, a decision will taken on extending the scheme further.
The World Health Organization sys that air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. The WHO data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. More than 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO guideline limits, with low- and middle-income countries suffering from the highest exposures, both indoors and outdoors. Some 91% of those premature deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and the greatest number in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.