The Delhi government on Thursday said it will implement its odd-even policy for vehicles from November 13 to November 17, PTI reported quoting Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot. The move is seen as an effort to reduce the dense smog that has enveloped the Capital since Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal asked the Transport Department to start preparing to enforce the odd-even scheme in the city.
The scheme helps cut traffic on the roads by prohibiting cars and bikes from plying based on the last digit of their registration numbers – vehicles with odd digits ply on odd dates, the others are allowed on even dates. The Arvind Kejriwal government has implemented it twice in 2016, once from January 1 to January 15, and between April 15 and April 30.
“Exemptions will be the same as last time,” Transport Minister Gahlot said on Thursday evening. “Indraprastha Gas Limited stickers for cars will be available from Friday at 22 CNG stations and extra buses are being arranged,” he said.
Vehicles that run on CNG, or Compressed Natural Gas, are exempt from the odd-even scheme provided they have the Indraprastha Gas Limited stickers.
The government’s announcement comes hours after the National Green Tribunal pulled it up for the rising levels of pollution in the Capital. “You have made a mess of Delhi,” it said, according to News18. “Why didn’t you issue any direction for shutting down polluting industries and construction...Go to the hospital and see the number of patients that are being admitted.” It also asked the Aam Aadmi Party-led government what steps were taken to control burning of garbage over the past week.
Air quality still ‘severe’
Delhi’s air quality on Thursday was categorised as “severe” by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research. The ranking is the agency’s most extreme category. On its website, the agency, better known as Safar, said the concentration of particulate matter 2.5 and 10 (particulate matter that are 10 or less and 2.5 or less micrometres in diameter) rose alarmingly. Levels of PM 2.5 in Delhi on Thursday was at 599 while that of PM 10 was at 955, both in the severe category.
The agency has predicted the levels will be “severe” on Friday too.