The National Green Tribunal on Saturday gave the go ahead to the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme in New Delhi from November 13-17.
And just as the NGTâ€™s decision came, Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, said that the state government may implement the odd-even scheme if it works in the national capital.
"Karnataka will introduce the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme in Bengaluru if it is successful in lowering the air pollution in New Delhi," Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy told TNM.
The Home Minister said that the Karnataka Transport Department would be consulted if the odd-even system works in Delhi. "We will approach the Transport Department and also hold talks with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah," Ramalinga Reddy added.
The odd-even scheme, in which odd numbered cars are allowed to ply on odd dates and even numbered cars on even dates, will come into effect for five days starting November 13 in New Delhi. The worsening air pollution levels with thick smog engulfing the region are a health hazard that has panicked Delhi. The odd-even scheme was enforced in Delhi twice in the past - in Jaunary and April this year.
Ramalinga Reddy however agrees that implementing an odd-even scheme alone will not solve Bengaluruâ€™s problems but the minister says it would at least reduce vehicular density.
"Bengaluru had 54 lakh vehicles four years ago. Now it has around 68 lakh vehicles. Pollution cannot be tackled unless the number of vehicles is reduced. Considering the large number of vehicles in a city like Bengaluru, the odd-even scheme may not be that effective but will help reduce the number of vehicles plying on the road at a given point of time," Reddy added.
Before he was given the Home portfolio, Ramalinga Reddy was Karnataka's Transport Minister.
He said that the state government is taking up road widening projects to decongest traffic snarls. "Look at Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The Transfer of Development Rights projects have worked in these places. Bannerghatta Road, Sarjapur Road and Hennur Main Road widening works will begin." he said.
The odd-even scheme was announced in New Delhi on a day the High Court said there was an "emergency situation" vis-a-vis pollution in Delhi-NCR and asked the Delhi government to consider implementing cloud seeding to induce artificial rain apart from vehicle rationing on roads.
According to Safar, the average PM2.5 was 546 units and PM10 was 895 in New Delhi. According to CPCB, at 5 p.m., average PM2.5 in Delhi NCR was 478 units, across 20 active stations (including Alwar in Rajasthan), with an average Air Quality Index (AQI) placed 478 (on a scale of 0 to 500).
The safe limit for PM2.5 and PM10 as per international standards is 25 and 60 microgrammes per cubic meters, while as per national standard it is 40 and 100 units respectively.