NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India T S Thakur today virtually endorsed the Delhi government's decision to allow plying of private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers on alternate days to lower pollution levels, saying it can be followed "if it helps in reducing" the problem.
Amid criticism of the policy to be implemented from January one, Justice Thakur said the problem was grave and drastic measures are needed to curb it.
When asked whether the apex court judges follow the policy and sacrifice by resorting to car pooling to reach the court, the CJI said, "we would love to do so if it helps reduce pollution".
He said this would not amount to "sacrifice" but would rather be part of a symbolic message to highlight the issue.
"There is no difficulty in this. I think this is the bare minimum which we can do. People call it sacrifice. This not a sacrifice, this is symbolic to show that judges are doing it."
In a radical step, the Kejriwal government has announced that private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers will be allowed to ply only on alternate days starting January 1, next year.
In response to a specific query as to how the CJI will follow it, Justice Thakur said he can share the car with his next door neighbour judge Justice A K Sikri.
"Odd number hai, ya even number hai, iss se fark nahi padta (the car has odd or even registration number does not matter), because in any case, you reach court in a car," he said.
In an interaction with journalists here, the CJI recalled his experience while flying from Jammu to Delhi and said there was a huge smoke cover over Punjab due to burning of crops by farmers in Punjab.
"I mentioned this to the Prime Minister (about it). He said that he has talked about it in his 'Mann ki Baat' (radio programme)," Justice Thakur said, adding that the farmers need to be made aware of the problem of pollution.