Delhi: With deteriorating air quality which was recorded in the ‘severe’ category, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday indicated that odd-even road-rationing scheme may be extended if the need arises.
“If required we can extend odd-even scheme,” Kejriwal said.
Road-rationing scheme began on November 4 and it would end on November 15. The scheme was implemented for 12 days, however, it was suspended for two days (November 11 and 12) due to Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrations.
Chief Minister’s statement came after the Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed both state government and the Centre over deteriorating air quality and their failure to find a solution.
Meanwhile, the top court directed the central government to assess the feasibility of hydrogen-based fuel technology. “In our view, little constructive efforts have been made by government and other stakeholders to find a solution to the problem,” the SC said.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi to provide air quality index (AQI) data from the date of introducing the odd-even scheme to November 14. The court also sought data for the same period from last year.
Air pollution levels were likely to enter the “severe plus” or “emergency” category on Wednesday. Such severe air pollution can worsen respiratory ailments and also affect even healthy people.
Government’s air quality monitor, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), said that winds carrying plumes of smoke from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana have led the spike in the pollution.
AQI between 201 and 300 is categorised as poor. The 301-400 range is considered very poor and 401-500 severe. The AQI above 500 falls under the severe plus category.