The Supreme Court on Friday said the pollution level in the national capital was rising despite the Odd-Eeven rotation scheme being in force. The top court summoned the chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi over the prevailing air emergency in Delhi. The Supreme Court questioned the Delhi government over granting exemptions, including to two and three wheelers, during the Odd-Even scheme. The apex court said effective steps must be taken and 13 pollution hotspots in Delhi be cleared of pollutants.
Slamming the Delhi government, Supreme Court observed that the Odd-even scheme might not be the solution to check air pollution. Delhi is suffering badly, the Air Quality Index is almost 600 even today, the court said. How do people breathe, the apex court asked. On being asked if there was any improvement in Delhi's air quality after the Odd-Even scheme, the Delhi Government responded saying that there has been a reduction in pollution levels by 5-15 per cent. However, the results would be better if the anti-pollution measure could be implemented without allowing any exemptions.
Delhi Government put the onus on neighbouring states for the noxious smog that pushed Delhi towards an 'emergency zone'. The real culprit of Delhi pollution is stubble burning. Last year no study was done on impact of Odd-Even scheme, the top court said. Appearing for Delhi government, Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi told the top court that “if certain exemptions are removed that are given under the Odd-Even scheme, like 2 wheelers, it will help. We are trying to work it out further, if 2 wheelers won't be allowed, the city will come to a standstill.”
The Supreme Court has asked Centre to prepare a road map for installation of air-purifying towers across Delhi to handle the air pollution crisis the National Capital is subjected to.