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Salve tells Delhi HC: Odd-even scheme may go on for longer, 'definite positive effect'

The Delhi government on Friday told the Delhi high court that it may extend the odd-even scheme beyond the planned 15 days trial period, after the court had on Wednesday asked the government why the scheme could not end after only a week of trial.

A division bench of chief justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath took note of the report submitted by the government on air pollution collected from 1 January to 8. It said it will pass an order on 11 January.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Delhi government, defended the odd-even scheme aimed at curbing air pollution.

He said there “is a definite positive effect” and the scheme “may be continued” after two weeks.

“Pollution is not going to go away. The odd-even scheme is an emergency measure to arrest peaking of the air pollution level,” Salve said, submitting the data of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) on air pollution since 1 January.

The bench had asked the Delhi government whether it can limit restrictions on the plying of even- and odd-numbered vehicles in Delhi on alternate days to “a week” instead of the planned 15 days.

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai and AAP member Ashish Khetan were present in the court during the hearing.

The government claimed that vehicular pollution had fallen since 1 January when the scheme was launched.

The court, hearing 12 PILs challenging the government decision to allow even- and odd-numbered vehicles to ply on alternate dates January 1-15, also asked why diesel cabs were still plying on roads despite a ban.

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