The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday rejected a petition challenging the implementation of the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme in the national Capital from November 4 to November 15, PTI reported.

A bench headed by the tribunal’s Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked the petitioner under which law the petition was maintainable, and dismissed it as withdrawn.

The petition filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal claimed the Central Pollution Control Board in its assessment found that the air quality of Delhi had deteriorated more when the scheme was implemented in 2016.

“At a time when country’s top environmental pollution control boards like Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee has unequivocally stated that odd-even policy, when implemented in the year 2016 failed to curb the air pollution menace, stand of government of Delhi to implement the odd-even policy merely on a study done by people of other countries is not only unpleasant but also downgrades the reputation of institutes like CPCB and DPCC,” the petitioner added.

Bansal said the government’s implementation of the scheme caused scientists to question the need for spending time on detailed scientific analysis.

The petition sought directions to the Delhi government to submit the studies conducted by other countries that it cited to justify the scheme. Bansal also called for the setting up of a committee of senior scientists to check the veracity of those studies.

While announcing the scheme on September 13, Kejriwal said he had met environment and sustainability experts to form a plan to tackle pollution during winter. The odd-even scheme and use of face masks were among the short-term measures advocated by the experts, he added.

The rationing system helps reduce traffic on the roads by prohibiting vehicles from plying based on the last digit of their registration numbers – vehicles with odd digits are not allowed on even dates and vice versa. The chief minister also announced a seven-point action plan to tackle pollution because of crop burning. His plan includes distribution of masks, mechanised sweeping of roads, tree plantation, and special plans for 12 pollution hotspots in the city.

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