There will be no odd-even traffic restriction scheme in Delhi at this time, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said Friday afternoon, shortly after the Supreme Court left the decision on its implementation to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party. Earlier this week the court – irked by the annual (and worsening) air quality crisis in the city – called the scheme “optics” and demanded proof of success.
The odd-even scheme – which restricts (only privately-owned) car traffic based on registration numbers – was to have been enforced for this year from the day after Diwali (November 13).
Addressing a press conference, Rai said the Delhi government will review the air quality situation after Diwali and a call on the odd-even scheme could be taken if the air quality deteriorates again.
The minister’s response after the Supreme Court observed earlier today that the odd-even scheme will have a minimal impact in curbing air pollution levels while pulling up the Delhi government for its response to the recurring nature of the issue.
“We can’t allow people to die. All chief secretaries should take steps else they will be summoned here,” the Supreme Court noted.
The court, however, pointed out the report also said vehicular pollution is only an estimated 17 per cent of the larger problem, and that the scheme only led to a 13 per cent reduction of that amount.
Earlier on Monday, Rai announced the odd-even scheme will be enforced between November 13 and November 20.