Delhi government hints at reintroducing odd-even scheme (Evening Lead)

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) With a day left for the pilot-run of the odd-even scheme to end, the Supreme Court on Thursday declined an urgent hearing of a plea challenging a Delhi High Court go-ahead for it.

The Delhi government hinted that the scheme that stipulated plying of odd-numbered cars only on odd dates and even-numbered cars on even dates from January 1 to January 15 may be reintroduced in the future.

Declining an early hearing, a bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi took a dim view of the plea filed by a young lawyer.

“You are challenging it for publicity. It is a publicity stunt,” the court told lawyer-petitioner B. Badrinath.

Pointing out that the government was taking steps to curb pollution as people were dying of it, the court asked “Why a young advocate is having difficulty in reaching the court” and observed that “we are doing carpooling, but you are not helping”.

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Talking to reporters here, Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said a decision on the second phase of the scheme will be taken after a review of the 15-day trial period and its impact.

“We have called a meeting on January 18 to review the impact of the odd-even scheme in the past 15 days. The meeting will be chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal,” Rai said.

“On the basis of results, it will be decided when to implement the second phase of the scheme in the national capital,” Rai said.

The odd-even policy was announced by the Aam Aadmi government after the high court said the national capital had turned into a gas chamber.

The high court’s January 8 order refused to interfere with the odd-even scheme implemented on a 15-day trial basis, saying it was a policy decision and was introduced based on the opinion of experts.

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