New Delhi: The odd-even traffic experiment for Delhi will not be cancelled, the Supreme Court ruled today, with Chief Justice of India TS Thakur firmly declaring, "People are dying of pollution. The government is taking steps to control pollution. Everyone must cooperate."
The Chief Justice pointed out that top judges including him have been car-pooling to work to participate in the fortnight-long trial, which bans private cars on alternate days. Cars with license plates ending in even numbers can be used on even-numbered dates. Odd-numbered cars are allowed on other dates. The trial, which began on January 1, ends tomorrow.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said the experiment to combat the toxic smog in the capital will not be extended for now. His government wants time to assess the impact of the odd-even experiment on air quality.
The Delhi High Court earlier this week said it would not cut short the trial; today, the top court rejected the appeal of a lawyer, who asked that the odd-even run be aborted.
Critics of the odd-even policy say Delhi does not have enough public transport to allow a smooth commute if the use of cars is restricted; others claim the air quality in the city has not shown any major improvement.
Pollution levels in Delhi regularly cross more than 10 times the World Health Organization's safe limits.