Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the Odd-Even scheme is not needed in Delhi. The swift reaction came after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the re-introduction of odd-even scheme in the National Capital. “No, I don't think it is needed. The Ring Road we have built has significantly reduced pollution in the city and our planned schemes will free Delhi of pollution in the next two years,” Gadkari was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari also slammed Kejriwal for the announcement and said it was just a trick to hide the failure of AAP government.
Earlier on Friday, Chief Minister Kejriwal said the odd-even road rationing scheme will be implemented in Delhi from November 4 to 15. Kejriwal said the move was aimed at combating high levels of air pollution in winters when crop burning takes place in neighbouring states.
The chief minister announced his seven-point action plan to tackle pollution due to crop burning which includes distribution of masks, mechanised sweeping of roads, tree plantation, and special plans for 12 pollution hot spots in the city. Under the scheme, odd and even numbered vehicles ply on alternate days.
Earlier in January, the Supreme Court had said that it is better not to live in New Delhi, as the national Capital resembles a gas chamber. The court was hearing a matter related to air pollution in the National Capital Region, PTI reported.
“In the morning and evening, there is so much pollution and traffic congestion,” Justice Arun Mishra said during the hearing. “It is better not to be in Delhi. I do not wish to settle in Delhi. It is difficult to live in Delhi.”
Delhi has been battling severe air pollution in recent times. In January this year, Delhi was designated as the most polluted city in the world. Pollution levels hit 500 in some parts of Delhi, and there was very poor visibility in some areas. Last year the high was 450 on 23 December. India is home to the world’s 14 most polluted cities, with Delhi the sixth worst, the World Health Organization has said. Toxic air caused 1.24 million deaths in India in 2017, or 12.5% of the total, according to a study published in Lancet Planetary Health.