Centre declares DDCA probe panel illegal

Gopal Subramanium led special panel appointed by the Aam Aadmi Party’s government in Delhi to probe alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has been declared “unconstitutional and illegal” by the Central government on Friday morning.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has accordingly held that the notification… issued by the Directorate of Vigilance, Government of NCT of Delhi, is unconstitutional, illegal and therefore has no legal effect,” read the letter issued by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

The Union Home Ministry, justified the decision by stating that since Delhi is not a full-fledged state, it does not have constitutional powers t form its own probe panel. The Aam Aadmi government, however, questioned the powers of the Centre to decide on legality, and added that it is the sole responsibility of the judiciary to decide whether it is unconstitutional. The Kejriwal government also questioned if the party holding power at the Centre was ‘afraid’ of an independent probe.

The DDCA scandal gained prominence after the Central government raided the Delhi Chief Secretary’s office, almost a month ago.



BS-VI set to be the emission norm from April 2020, completely bypassing BS-V

In another measure to curtail pollution levels, a unanimous decision was taken to implement the Bharat Stage (BS)-VI emission norms from April 2020, thereby bypassing the BS-V norms altogether, which were initially supposed to be implemented after the incumbent BS-IV and BS-III in the country.

The decision was taken at a meeting spearheaded by Transport minister Nitin Gadkari, and also saw the attendance of ministers of other concerned ministries including Petroleum, Environment and Heavy Industries.

On the issue, Gadkari was quoted by PTI as saying, “Government has decided to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI directly by April 1, 2020. We have decided to skip BS-V emission norms. It is a bold decision and a commitment to environment. “

This decision to change the trajectory of emission norms to more stringent standards, will require oil refineries to invest an additional 80,000 crore.

Moreover, the decision comes at a time when BS-IV is limited to only northern India, while the other parts of the country still receive BS-III grade fuel.

Significantly, the issue of pollution has been receiving heightened attention in the country, especially as the Delhi government is experimenting with an ambitious odd-even scheme to curb the alarming pollution levels in the National Capital.


Sources: The Hindu, TOI

Delhi High Court questions the 15-day duration of Odd-Even scheme

The Delhi High Court (HC) on Wednesday questioned the 15-day duration of the Odd-Even scheme implemented by the Delhi Government. The policy was formulated by the Arvind Kejriwal led government in a bid to bring down the alarming levels of pollution in the National Capital.

“Can’t you restrict Odd-even to a week?”, HC asked the Delhi government.

The court, responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought the repealing of the Odd-Even scheme, asked the government if the policy can be stopped after Friday. Further, it has asked the government to submit the data on pollution levels between January 1-7.

Despite the cooperation from the side of citizens, the policy implementation has caused a lot of difficulties for the public, the court said. Also, highlighting about the increased number of cabs on the roads of Delhi, the court asked if there is any check to know whether they are all CNG cars.

Although, the Odd-even scheme has considerably helped in reducing traffic congestion in the city, the effectiveness of the policy with respect to bringing down pollution levels still remains doubtful.

Source: The Indian Expresss, Hindustan Times

Odd-even rule: Delhi government to grant new auto permits

New Delhi: Following the decision to implement the odd-even formula in Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government has planned to sanction permits to 10,000 new auto rickshaws by the end of this month, in order to boost the public transportation network.

Statistics provided by the Transport Department states that around 80,000 auto rickshaws ply around the city currently. The rule, to be implemented from January 1, 2016, is expected to bring down traffic congestion and lower pollution levels in the National Capital.

“After implementation of the odd-even scheme from January 1, around 10-lakh odd-numbered cars will go off the city’s roads on even dates and vice versa during a 15-day trial period,” said a government official to the Press Trust of India. The government also announced, in an official statement, that it will add 6,000 buses to ply in and around the city, to commute without much hassle.

The AAP-government has also laid down conditions for new permits, which includes the fitting of electronic fare meter fitted with GPS. It has further notified the auto owners that they would be allowed to lend authorized autos on rent to drivers with supported documents and license.

A new mobile application will also be released by the Delhi government, bringing the auto rickshaws and taxi services under one umbrella during the trial period.




Around 10 lakh vehicles are touted to go off roads during the trial period of odd-even formula Image Source: Wall Street Journal
Around 10 lakh vehicles are touted to go off roads during the trial period of odd-even formula
Image Source: Wall Street Journal