New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced that there will be no surge pricing by cabs plying in the national capital, when the Odd-Even scheme will be carried out from November 4-15. Notably, under the scheme, exempted vehicles having odd and even last digits of their registration numbers will ply on alternate days. This is being done in a bid to control pollution in Delhi.
“Notifications for ‘odd-even’ have been sent and will be effective in Delhi from Monday. I have held review meetings with all departments to ensure readiness. All cab companies have been instructed not to levy surge pricing… they have promised cooperation in this regard,” Arvind Kejriwal said.
“I also appeal to all auto drivers to run only by meters. We have fulfilled all your requests and ask that you also cooperate with the public,” he added.
Kejriwal also said that staggered office timings for government offices during the ‘odd-even’ period would be -9.30 am and 10.30 am.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Kejriwal also hit out at “some opposition leaders”, saying they are inciting children on social media to burst more crackers terming the incident “unfortunate”.
“I went to a school today and when I asked, only 15-20% children said they burst crackers. It is extremely unfortunate that on social media some opposition leaders were inciting children to burst more crackers,” Kejriwal said.
Further, he went on to show pictures of Delhi’s sky, one captured on September 30 and another, taken recently. He asked, “So what changed in 1 month except for stubble burning.”
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal announced that all schools in the national capital will be closed till November 5 due to poor air quality.
“Due to stubble burning, the pollution level in Delhi is very high, hence the government has decided to shut all schools till November 5,” the Chief Minister tweeted.
This came after Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority declared an unprecedented public health emergency in Delhi-NCR.“This is a public health emergency as air pollution is now hazardous and will have adverse health impacts on all particularly the children,” it said.
As the air quality dropped to ’emergency’ or ‘severe-plus’ category on Friday, the Delhi CM also distributed anti-pollution masks to the school children as a part of the government plan to protect the children from air pollution.
Meanwhile, the EPCA also prohibited the construction activities in Delhi and NCR till the morning of November 5 while the bursting of crackers has been completely banned for the entire winter season.