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Odd-Even For Another Week for Delhi, Court Won't Cancel It

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Odd-Even For Another Week for Delhi, Court Won't Cancel It

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The high court is hearing a clutch of petitions that have challenged the state government's formula.

New Delhi:  The Arvind Kejriwal government's Odd-Even scheme will continue till January 15 as planned, the Delhi High Court ruled today.

The court said it would "not interfere with the notification" that allows only cars with odd-numbered licence plates on Delhi's roads on odd-numbered dates, and those with even-numbered plates on the other days till this Friday.

But the government, the judges said, must consider some of the issues raised by petitioners on Odd-Even if it implements such a scheme again.

The Aam Aadmi Party government has declared its two-week experiment launched on January 1 to cut smog in the world's most polluted capital a success, and there has been speculation on whether it will be extended beyond January 15.

Sources in the Delhi government said it would decide on next steps only after analysing pollution data and reviewing progress after Friday.  

In a statement yesterday, the Delhi government said that air pollution caused by vehicular traffic has declined by 50 per cent in the national capital.

"More than 50 per cent drop in air pollution primarily caused by vehicular traffic has been recorded according to the latest ambient air data collected by mobile teams of Delhi Pollution Control Committee on Saturday at 18 locations, through mobile dust samplers on using the light scattering technique," it said.

The High Court will now hear the petitions challenging the new traffic rules on February 15. On Friday, it had reserved judgement on whether the scheme should be allowed to run till January 15, but criticised the city's public transport as "insufficient" and observed that people were inconvenienced.

The Delhi government has committed to improving public transport by providing more buses and metro train runs for commuters. Schools in the capital have been ordered to remain closed till January 15, partly so that their buses can be used to ferry commuters to work.

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