New Delhi: Despite the implementation of odd-even rationing scheme, the national capital and its adjoining areas continued to struggle for clean air as the AQI (Air quality index) crossed the ‘hazardous’ or ‘severe-plus’ emergency categories on Friday. As per Central Pollution Control Board  (CPCB), the air quality in Delhi’s Dwarka Sector 8 was registered at 930, Rohini (765), Okhla (722)  Pragati Vihar 733, Anand Vihar 535, Ashok Vihar (757).

An AQI between 201 and 300 is ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’. An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401-500 severe. Above 500 is severe-plus emergency category.

The air quality in Delhi’s neighbouring cities was also deteriorated as an overall AQI docked at 583 in Noida. In Noida Sector 62, the AQI was registered at 538 and Noida Sector 125 the AQI levels were at 665. Meanwhile, Ghaziabad which is considered one of the most polluted cities in India, recorded an AQI of 456 (PM2.5).

Schools closed till 15

In the view of rising pollution, school in Delhi-NCR will remain shut till November 15 i.e, today. On Wednesday, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had said that the government has decided to shut all the government schools and private schools till Friday.

“In view of the deteriorating situation due to stubble pollution in North India, the Delhi government has decided to close all the government and private schools of Delhi for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow”, Sisodia had tweeted on Nov 13.

Besides, outdoor activities in Delhi schools remained suspended  after the pollution levels docked at ’emergency’ category.

Schools in Uttar Pradesh including that in Bulandshahr and Hapur will also remain shut today due to the increasing pollution. The DM in Hapur has also issued a notification regarding the same.

No clarification on Odd-even extension

A PTI report in on Thursday evening revealed that no decision on extending the odd-even road rationing scheme has been decided as yet. “A final decision about extending the odd-even rule could be taken on Friday, depending on the situation of air pollution and outcome of a hearing pertaining to the scheme in the Supreme Court,” a Delhi government functionary told PTI.

Earlier on Wednesday the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that the Odd-Even traffic rationing scheme can be extended if required.

“Delhi’s air quality is deteriorating due to stubble burning. However, it has reduced a little due to rains in Punbaj and Haryana. If required, we will extend the Odd-Even scheme,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying by ANI.

Exempting two-wheelers and emergency vehicles, the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme was initiated in the national capital from November 4 to 15. It was applicable from 8 AM to 8 PM, except on Sundays. A fine of Rs 4,000 was also set for rule violators. Aimed at curbing air pollution, the scheme was first implemented in 2015. The scheme was implemented for the last few years as the national capital has been grappling with smog every winter.