In a distressing turn of events, Delhi air pollution has been enveloped in a dense, toxic smog for nearly a week, forcing authorities to implement the Odd-Even rule from November 13 to November 20. Multiple areas in the capital reported alarmingly high Air Quality Index (AQI) levels, some even reaching 999.
Under the Odd-Even rule, vehicles with registration numbers ending in an odd digit will be permitted on Delhi’s roads on odd-numbered days, while those ending in even digits will be allowed on even-numbered days. The objective is to cut vehicular traffic in half, thereby curbing air pollution.
The announcement by State Environment Minister Gopal Rai triggered swift reactions on the internet. Many Delhiites expressed their discontent, urging the government to devise a sustainable solution for the ongoing air pollution crisis.
One user humorously questioned whether the government expected a lush forest to magically appear within seven days due to the Odd-Even rule. This decision has sparked a debate on the effectiveness of short-term measures versus long-term environmental planning.
Despite Minister Gopal Rai’s announcement of the upcoming Odd-Even car rationing scheme from November 13 to 20, Delhi continues to grapple with hazardous smog.
The overall air quality in Delhi fell to the ‘very poor’ category, with an AQI of 399, as reported by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India.
Delhi University recorded an AQI of 461, Terminal 3 airport at 433, Noida at 463, IIT Delhi at 416, and Gurugram at 369, according to SAFAR data at 7 a.m.
Additionally, areas like Pusa and Lodhi Road reported AQI levels of 372 and 371, respectively, both classified as ‘very poor.’ According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the AQI at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium was 409.
Ghaziabad registered an AQI of 370, as per the Central Pollution Control Board.
In an effort to safeguard the well-being of school students, in-person classes for all school levels, except for tenth and twelfth graders preparing for their board exams, have been temporarily suspended.
Minister Gopal Rai affirmed that the Odd-Even scheme would be in effect in Delhi after Diwali, running from November 13 to November 20, with a decision on its extension to be made after November 20.
Meanwhile, Mumbai’s overall AQI was recorded at 145, falling under the ‘moderate’ category. Colaba reported an AQI of 214, Andheri at 127, and Bhandup at 117. AQI in Chembur (TISS) stood at 304.
On a somber note, pollution levels in Delhi-NCR surged to approximately seven to eight times higher than the government-mandated safety threshold on Monday, with a hazardous haze persisting over the area for the seventh consecutive day.