Car owners in Delhi will have to parking fee four times the existing rate in an effort to curb the rising pollution in the Capital.

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) on Tuesday recommended vehicle parking fees by four times in Delhi in a bid to curb worsening air quality in the capital as the high-pollution winter months kicked in.

According to media reports, the authority has also recommended reduced fares in the Delhi metro during off-peak hours and the return of the odd-even scheme to regulate the number of cars on Delhi roads.

The EPCA has instructed that a fine of Rs 50,000 be imposed on road construction agencies violating dust pollution norms in Delhi-NCR, according to media reports.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded ‘severe’ air quality, meaning that the intensity of pollution was extreme.

The CPCB, monitoring stations in Delhi-NCR recorded Air Quality Index (AQIs) as high as 446 at 9.30am. The lowest AQI was in Gurgaon at 357 at 9.30am, which is classified as very poor, according to media reports.

The last time air had turned ‘severe’ was on October 20, a day after Diwali festivities, when firecrackers were set off.

The pollution level rose to dangerous levels, with 18 out of 21 active pollution monitoring stations recording “severe” air quality.

Earlier, the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced his recommendation to close schools in Delhi, after pollution in the capital were registered at ‘severe level’.

ALSO READ: Air pollution hits ‘severe’ levels in Delhi

Kejriwal also said that Delhi has become a ‘gas chamber’ and underlined the need for a solution regarding ‘crop burning’ by adjoining states.

(With agency inputs)