New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asserted that a decision on extension of the Odd-even traffic rationing scheme will be taken on November 18, Monday.
“There is no extension of odd-even for now. We are watching the situation. If there is improvement in wind speed, there will be no odd-even. The government will take a final call on Monday after monitoring the situation for two more days,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener said while addressing reporters. Notably, Odd-Even was imposed in Delhi from November 4 and it will conclude on Nov 15, Friday.
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.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister launched fresh attack on Punjab and Haryana governments and held them responsible for the noxious smog that has developed Delhi and its adjoining areas. He stated that there is a direct correlation between the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana and the pollution in Delhi. “I am not shirking my responsibilities, I will also deal with the sources of burning more strictly”, a portal added the AAP leader as saying.
Meanwhile, a meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee of Urban Development is underway at Parliament House Annexe, over severe air pollution in Delhi. The representatives of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, DDA, NDMC, CPWD, NBCC and municipal corporations of Delhi are present.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi-NCR continued to struggle for clean air as the AQI (Air quality index) crossed the ‘hazardous’ or ‘severe-plus’ emergency categories. 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).