Delhi pollution: Safety of women first, says Transport minister Kailash Gahlot

Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs  | Deccan Chronicle

Nation, Current Affairs

Delhi’s air quality went south and once again entered the ‘emergency’ category on Friday evening.

'Odd-even scheme from Nov 13-17 in the national capital called off,' Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said. (Photo: PTI/Representational)

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Saturday called off the odd-even scheme, which was to be implemented from Monday, after the National Green Tribunal ordered the withdrawal of exemptions under it, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said.

Gahlot said the government’s decision came in view of the directive by the NGT, which ordered the withdrawal of all exemptions, including to two-wheeler riders and woman-only vehicles, under the odd-even scheme.

The government was not ready “to compromise with the safety of women” after the NGT ordered that there should be no exemption to anyone expect emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire tenders, he said.

“We respect the NGT decision. Two conditions of NGT that two wheelers and women cannot be exempted make it difficult to implement odd-even as we do not have adequate buses,” Gahlot said. “Also we cannot compromise with the safety of women. We cannot take risks. PM2.5 and PM10 levels have also come down. So at the moment we are calling it off.

We will file a review application in NGT on Monday,” the minister said. Earlier this week, the Delhi government had announced implementation of the odd-even scheme from November 13-17, given the high level of smog in the capital.