New Delhi: Hours after implementation of Odd-Even traffic rationing scheme in Delhi on Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia made a scathing against the BJP leader, stating that pollution issue is not on the Narendra Modi-lead party's priority list but making jokes is.
Sisodia's comments came in reference to senior BJP leader Vijay Goel's announcement of a symbolic protest wherein he will ride through the streets of Delhi to oppose the move. He had termed the scheme as an "election stunt" and a "drama".
"Vijay Goel should do whatever he wants, he shouldn't not only break the odd-even rule but he should also break the ban on generators and construction in the city. He always opposes the things done by the state government for the welfare of the people of Delhi. Pollution issue is not on the priority list of BJP but making a joke is, so they are making fun of it," Sisodia told ANI.
The Odd-Even scheme, a flagship programme of the AAP government, will be in force until November 15. It entails private vehicles with registration numbers ending with odd digits to be allowed on odd dates and those with even digits on even dates.
"North India has been engulfed in smoke caused by stubble burning, right now we can't do anything about that, but if we follow the scheme for next 10 days, it will give some relief. It is for everybody's benefit," he added.
Sisodia appealed to the people of Delhi to reduce the sources of pollution here as the smog caused due to stubble burning cannot be controlled.
"If we will reduce our sources of pollution at least we will get some relief. Little relief will benefit everyone," said Sisodia.
Later in the day, Sisodia left for his official work on a bicycle.
Sisodia's Cabinet colleague, Delhi Environment Minister Kailash Gahlot, also thanked to the people of Delhi for complying with the traffic rationing rule.
"I hardly spotted any car with an odd number. I extend my thanks to the people of Delhi. People here are complying with the odd-even scheme. Our target was to bring 2000 busses on the road and we have hired more than 850 buses up till now. The number will increase in the coming days," said Gahlot.
"The main reason for Delhi pollution is stubble burning and this cannot be controlled by the Delhi Government. This should be done by the neighbouring states and central government. Odd-even scheme will provide some relief from the pollution. As per several studies and reports, transport vehicle accounts for 18 to 20 per cent pollution," he added.
Gahlot asserted that the people of Delhi have together taken efforts and reduced 25 to 30 per cent pollution across the national capital.
"Our forest cover is increasing continuously since 2015. We have stopped all construction in Delhi due to the intense pollution level. Implementing this scheme is not a political stunt," said Gahlot.
The national capital is gasping for breath over the last week with a thick smog cover shrouding the region and air quality dipping to hazardous levels.