App-based cabs from other states will not be allowed to enter Delhi under yesterday’s Supreme Court suggestion meant to curb the annual, spiralling pollution. Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said his department has been asked to implement the suggestion of the court.
The Delhi government will also present two studies before the court on the efficacy of the odd-even road rationing — scheduled to begin after Diwali — the minister said in a video statement posted on X, formerly Twitter. These include a joint study by the Harvard and Chicago State University in the US and one by the Delhi Technical University.
At a hearing yesterday, the Supreme Court had called schemes like odd-even a matter of “mere optics” and suggested that the Delhi government consider allowing cabs on roads that have Delhi registration.
“We may also note that there is a large number of the App based taxis in Delhi which have registrations in different States. If we look at the roads, each one is carrying only one passenger,” the court had said, asking the state if it could stop it as an additional step to control pollution.
Slamming the odd-even scheme already announced, the court questioned if there is any study to back up such a move. “Have you evaluated how it worked in previous years? Such schemes are only optics,” said the judges, who were hearing a petition on the rising pollution. The Delhi government has said the scheme will be implemented once the court reviews it.
Over the last week, the air quality in the national capital had dropped abysmally. The locals have been waking up to a thick haze and the amount of noxious particulate matter has been seen to be four times the permissible limit in many areas.
Today, satellite pictures showed a massive black plume of smoke covering the entire north India. A big contributor were the fields of Punjab and Haryana, where stubble burning is an annual ritual.
The court underscored the need to stop stubble burning – a tricky issue for the Aam Aadmi Party which governs both Delhi and Punjab. “We want it stopped. We don’t know how you do it, it’s your job. But it must be stopped. Something has to be done immediately,” the judges had said.