Hours after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) gave a go-ahead to the odd-even scheme without any exemptions to two-wheelers, the Delhi government refused to implement it, saying they will approach the green court again on Monday.
"At the moment we are calling it off. We will again approach the NGT and will ask them to allow exemptions to women and two-wheelers," Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said here.
The road rationing scheme was supposed to be implemented from November 13 to 17 as suggested by the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) and specified under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), after Delhi's air quality went "beyond severe".
Stating that Delhi the government could not compromise on the safety of women, Gahlot added that the city government also did not have enough busses or alternatives for the public transport to accommodate over 60 lakh two-wheeler riders.
"We can't compromise with safety and security of women ... the government is concerned about it," Gahlot said.
While the Delhi government counsel also asked the Tribunal if they shall drop the idea of odd-even as Delhi's air quality was improving, the Tribunal asked the government to take a call, saying: "We are not going to give you a shelter on this one. Take a decision yourself."
Earlier in the day, the NGT gave a go-ahead to the Delhi government on odd-even with no exemption for the two-wheelers, women and VIPs.
"The odd-even will go on. No exemption of any kind to any one including two-wheelers, women, public officers or politicians, except essential services. Odd-even will come in force by default in future in case Delhi's air gets severe," NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had said.
NGT had said that in future the odd-even scheme will automatically come into force if the PM2.5 level goes above 300 and PM10 crosses the 500 mark.