Supreme Court Questions Odd-Even Scheme and Air Pollution in Delhi: Amid Elections

The Supreme Court recently voiced strong concerns about the effectiveness of Delhi’s odd-even scheme in combatting the increasing air pollution in the city. During its recent orders to address the worsening air quality in Delhi, the Supreme Court criticized the scheme, referring to it as mere “optics.”

Justice SK Kaul, commenting on the odd-even scheme, questioned its success, stating, “Odd-even has been implemented in Delhi, but has it ever succeeded? It’s all optics.” The Delhi government had announced the implementation of the odd-even car rationing scheme from November 13 to 20, which permits cars with either odd or even number plates to operate on specific dates.

The Supreme Court’s scathing remarks extended beyond the odd-even scheme. It also chastised the governments of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan for their handling of stubble burning, a significant contributor to air pollution.

The Supreme Court urged the state governments, particularly the Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government, to take immediate action to stop stubble burning, emphasizing, “We want it (stubble burning) stopped. We don’t know how you do it, it’s your job. But it must be stopped. Something has to be done immediately.”

The top court further advised against indulging in a blame game over the issue of stubble burning, stating, “Where is the reduction [in farm fires]? The only difference is you have suddenly sought to shift the blame on other states… It’s obvious why. But this can’t be a political battle all the time.”

Expressing its concern for the residents of Delhi, the Supreme Court emphasized that they should not have to endure severe air pollution for extended periods. The court said, “Cannot let people die like this,” and underscored its zero tolerance for the recurring pollution crisis in the national capital.

Following the Supreme Court’s orders, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai mentioned that the government would carefully review them. He added that the rules for implementing the odd-even scheme would be determined after a thorough examination of the Supreme Court’s order.

Meanwhile, Delhi’s air quality remains a cause for concern, with the city’s overall air quality index (AQI) in the ‘very poor’ category. The AQI readings in various areas of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) continue to reflect the severity of the pollution problem.

3 thoughts on “Supreme Court Questions Odd-Even Scheme and Air Pollution in Delhi: Amid Elections”

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