India's environmental court refuses to exempt women, two-wheelers from odd-even formula

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-14 21:50:55|Editor: pengying
Video PlayerClose

NEW DELHI, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- India's top environmental court - National Green Tribunal (NGT) Tuesday refused to exempt women and two-wheelers from Delhi government's odd-even car rationing formula, officials said.

The green panel's rejection came in a review petition filed by the Delhi government challenging banning of exemptions.

The NGT also ordered that diesel vehicles operating from more than 10 years be taken off the roads immediately.

"The green panel has also asked the city government to identify the most polluted areas today itself and sprinkle water," an official said. "It also allowed the non-polluting industries and those manufacturing essential goods to operate in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR)."

In its last week's order, the court banned all exemptions granted under the Odd-Even scheme to two-wheelers, government officials and women.

"What is the basis of exemptions if you want to improve air quality," the court then told Delhi government.

Deadly blanket of smog is enveloping the Indian capital city since the beginning of last week.

The green panel told government Odd-Even formula should come into effect every time the particulate matter 10 exceeds the level of 500 and PM 2.5 rises above 300.

Following the thick smog, health officials issued advisory to elderly and children to avoid venturing out.

All schools in Delhi, adjoining areas and Punjab remained closed last week in view of the pollution.

The deadly smog chocks air, causing breathlessness and lung difficulties, besides badly affecting the visibility.

Delhi is considered to be the most polluted city in the world. Last year, the city's high court described the capital as "gas chamber."

Air pollution is a leading cause of premature death in India. Pollution in Delhi gets aggravated during winter months. Ahead of winters, people burn agricultural waste to clear cropland, which contributes to the choking of already polluted air.