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India’s top green court allows car rationing in Delhi, no exemptions

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Updated: 05:52 GMT, Nov 13, 2017 | Published: 05:38 GMT, Nov 12, 2017 |
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National Green Tribunal (NGT), India’s top environmental court, on Saturday (November 11) allowed the Delhi government to implement the “odd-even” car rationing scheme without any exemptions, as the national capital battles a pollution emergency.

Toxic smog has blanketed New Delhi this week, as 195 signatories of the Paris climate accord meet in Bonn to discuss the 2015 plan to shift the world economy from fossil fuels this century.

There is no exemption for VIPs, for women or two wheelers, said lawyer Rajiv Bansal.

Under the “odd-even” rule, fuel-based private vehicles with odd and even numbers will run on alternate days from November 13 to November 17. Only vehicles used for emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades have been exempted.

Delhi’s air has been consistently in the “hazardous” zone for days, despite measures such as a halt to construction, raising parking charges fourfold and banning commercial trucks from the city unless they are transporting essential commodities.

The air quality index, which measures the concentration of poisonous particulate matter in the air, hit 374 on Saturday on a scale where the maximum reading is 500 and where anything above 100 is considered unhealthy by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). However, it was slightly better than Friday’s (November 09) average of 468.

Illegal crop burning in farm states surrounding New Delhi, vehicle exhausts and swirling construction dust.

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