Odd-even scheme 'last weapon' to fight air pollution: Delhi Environment Minister
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday said implementing the odd-even road rationing scheme would be the "last weapon" to fight air pollution in the city and presently the government is focusing on the 'Red Light On, Gaadi off' campaign.
The odd-even scheme is a road rationing plan under which odd and even numbered vehicles ply on alternate days.
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Responding to a question at a press conference, Rai said if all other ways fail then the Delhi government will think about implementing the odd-even scheme.
"We have implemented the odd-even scheme several times in Delhi and it will be our last weapon. Odd-even is also a way to reduce vehicular pollution so right now we are completely focusing on this 'Red Light On, Gaadi off' campaign and if all other programmes don't work then the government will think about implementing the odd-even scheme," he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on October 15 launched the 'Red Light On, Gaadi off' (red light on, engine off) campaign to tackle air pollution in the national capital and urged people to turn off the engines of their vehicles while waiting at traffic signals.
Rai, responding to another question, claimed that Delhi is the only place where air pollution has been reducing in the last five years and in all other places it has been seen that pollution is increasing.
"There are reasons for this result. Our government has provided 24 hour electricity which has reduced pollution caused by genset, which is now used only incase of emergency.
"Secondly, we increased afforestation in Delhi - we did double then what we were assigned by the Centre. Thirdly, Delhi is the first place to shift towards electric vehicles. These are all long term solutions," he said.