The Delhi government on Saturday called off the odd-even scheme, hours after the National Green Tribunal said it could go ahead with it without exempting women and two-wheelers. The Aam Aadmi Party government had planned to bring the traffic regulating scheme into effect from November 13 to November 17.

During the special hearing convened to hear the case on implementing the odd-even scheme, the National Green Tribunal criticised the Delhi government for not acting earlier to tackle the frightening pollution levels in the city. The panel decided to allow the AAP government to implement the rule, but held that government vehicles, two-wheelers and women will have to adhere to it, unlike the last two times it was brought into effect.

Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot told reporters after the hearing that they will file a review petition at the National Green Tribunal on Monday and ask the panel to reconsider its decision on not exempting women and two-wheelers from the odd-even scheme. The government will consider implementing the scheme based on the outcome of the petition.

“This government gives the highest priority to the safety and security of women, and therefore, it feels that the exemption to this category should continue,” the Chief Minister’s Office said. “Further, this government feels that considering the large number of two wheelers in Delhi, unless adequate number of buses are available, implementation of odd-even will cause great hardship to such persons.”

The odd-even scheme helps cut traffic on the roads by prohibiting cars and bikes from plying based on the last digit of their registration numbers – vehicles with odd digits ply on odd dates, the others are allowed on even dates. Only vehicles carrying solid waste, fire brigades, ambulances and emergency repair vehicles will be exempted from the plan, the National Green Tribunal said.