‘Odd-even not needed, it’s just harassment’

Posted on Sep 15 2019 - 7:30am by admin

Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday said that reintroducing the odd-even scheme in Delhi after Diwali wasn’t necessary. “Now there is no such need because the new ring road (Eastern and western peripheral expressways) we have built is helping reduce pollution in Delhi to a certain extent. Besides, my ministry is implementing road works of about Rs 50,000 crore in Delhi. Cleaning of Yamuna and other works to curb pollution are also underway. I am confident Delhi will be pollution-free in the next two years,” Gadkari said.

Even in November 2017, when the scheme was being implemented, Gadkari had said that such a move or a ban on automobiles was no solution while calling for a holistic approach.

The Delhi BJP, meanwhile, called the announcement a “poll gimmick”. While state BJP chief Manoj Tiwari alleged the move was yet another attempt to “mislead people”, the leader of the opposition in the assembly, Vijender Gupta, said it lacked the backing of a survey or a study. Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel alleged that the AAP government had suddenly woken up to the issue of pollution since the assembly elections are just a few months away.

“Kejriwal had introduced odd-even in the name of preventing pollution twice in 2016 and spent about Rs 20 crore on it only to realise that there was no change in pollution levels,” said Tiwari. “It is yet another way of harassing people.” He said it was due to the policies adopted by the Modi government — such as construction of peripheral expressways, closure of the Badarpur thermal power plant and penalising polluting industries — that the pollution levels had come down. “Pollution in Delhi will go down by 80 per cent after the introduction of BSVI vehicles from April 1, 2020,” he added.

“Pollution is a round-theyear challenge and cannot be controlled by a few days of oddeven scheme. It has already proved ineffective in controlling air pollution during earlier attempts and rather promotes a two-car culture,” said Gupta.

Goel said he was the first to oppose the scheme in 2016 as only a fraction of cars had been taken away from roads. “The reports released by the central government and CPCB at that time had observed that odd-even had zero impact on reducing pollution levels,” he said.

“The AAP government has failed to utilise the environment compensation cess amounting to Rs 1500 crores, which was collected from commercial vehicles entering the city,” pointed out Gupta. “This money should have been utilized to control pollution by improving public transport.”

https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/PrintArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2019%2F09%2F14&entity=ar00903&ts=20190914011300&uq=20190908103919&mode=text

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