<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) is soon planning to devise a system under which measures like odd-even will kick in automatically when air pollution enters’emergency’zone.”It is learnt that the EPCA is now mulling over a proposal to make the enforcement mechanism automatic so that such situations can be avoided. The issue is likely to be taken up at the panel’s meeting on Friday,” said an EPCA official.Earlier this month, when pollution breached emergency levels, the Delhi government had decided to implement the car-rationing scheme based on odd and even number plates but had to call it off at the last moment.The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had made it clear that it would allow the scheme to be enforced only if the exemptions to two-wheelers and women were withdrawn, but the Arvind Kejriwal-led government had expressed its inability to do so, citing inadequacies in the city’s public transport system.Caught between the NGT and the government, the measure, which is a part of the Centre-notified Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), could ultimately not be enforced in the Capital.In fact, the Delhi government had gone ahead with its plan without the EPCA approval. Firstly, the court-appointed watchdog was not in favour of its implementation as the pollution levels were expected to dip and secondly, it was against the exemptions as well.This was also found in a recent report of the EPCA to the apex court. The report stressed the need for “deterrence” so that GRAP’s implementation is strengthened.”It is clear that any direction is as good as its implementation.Given all the challenges of effective governance in our cities, it is clear we need a better system for the implementation of GRAP, during the pollution emergency periods. EPCA will discuss how stronger deterrence can be incorporated in GRAP and get back to the Hon’ble Court on the possible directives needed in this regard,” said the report.Under the current mechanism, if pollution persists in the emergency category for 48 hours or more, then action, as required under such severe spells, shall immediately be pressed into through state-level committees and various implementing agencies listed in the GRAP.In the case of odd-even, the implementing agency as listed by the GRAP is the transport department in Delhi and transport commissioners of the NCR towns such as Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Noida.
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