Raj Niwas officials accuse AAP govt of misleading courts on 'odd-even', Delhi minister hits back

Raj Niwas officials accuse AAP govt of misleading courts on 'odd-even', Delhi minister hits back

New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) Accusing the AAP government in Delhi of misleading the courts and people, Raj Niwas officials Tuesday said the file on GRAP stage IV implementation it sent to the lieutenant governor states no decision has been taken on the odd-even car rationing scheme.

However, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the decision to implement the odd-even scheme was taken on November 6 and the file the official was talking about was sent for LG VK Saxena's approval on November 4.

He alleged that officers were 'misleading' Saxena, and added that the file on the implementation of the scheme will be sent to the LG by the transport department.

Earlier in the day, Rai said the Delhi government will take into account the Supreme Court's directives on pollution while finalising the odd-even scheme.

'The much publicised odd-even scheme to fight air pollution post-Diwali, that was announced by the AAP government yesterday is nothing but an attempt to mislead people and courts to divert attention from the ongoing severe crisis in the capital caused by air pollution,' a Raj Niwas official said.

'The file to this effect clearly shows that the decision to implement the odd-even scheme as a part of measures under GRAP-IV was not approved by Minister Gopal Rai. Subsequently, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's office conveyed his approval to defer a decision on the odd-even plying of vehicles as proposed by Gopal Rai since the CM was out of town,' the official added.

The file sent to the LG proposed physical classes be discontinued for all up to Class 11 and lessons be conducted online, public, municipal and private offices work at 50 per cent strength, closure of all colleges, educational institutions and non-emergency commercial activities, and vehicles to run on odd-even registration number basis, the Raj Niwas official said.

'Gopal Rai and the chief minister approved all proposals except that about odd-even plying of vehicles, where they wanted a decision on the implementation to be taken after advice from experts. The file was subsequently sent to the LG Secretariat for the LG's approval. The LG Secretariat has flagged this deliberate misrepresentation in its nothings to the Chief Minister's Office,' he added.

In a note to the CMO, the LG Secretariat said the file was sent to them on November 4, 'even as public announcements regarding the order for implementation of actions under Stage-IV of GRAP had already been made in the media, and the order was issued on November 5 itself', the official said.

'In light of this announcements to this effect in the media amounts to misleading the people as also the honourable courts, who are closely monitoring the situation arising out of severe air pollution in the city,' he said.

Accusing the official of misleading the LG, Rai said, 'The file on the basis of which he is citing that the odd-even proposal has come from the government is dated November 4. On the basis of this, on the evening of November 5, the CAQM decided to implement GRAP IV. The next day, on November 6, CM Arvind Kejriwal called a meeting at the Delhi Secretariat regarding air pollution. In that meeting, it was decided that odd-even would be implemented in Delhi.' Following the meeting, it was announced to implement the odd-even scheme in Delhi from November 13 to November 20, Rai said in a statement.

'The decision to implement odd-even was taken on 6th November. In such a situation, how can the odd-even be written in the file of November 4? Now the process of sending its file is going on. Odd-even is implemented under the Motor Vehicles Act. The transport department is working on this,' he added. PTI SLB IJT IJT

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