With the Delhi air quality index (AQI) landing in “severe” zone, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that the government “may extend the Odd-Even road rationing scheme if required”.
The Odd-Even scheme that began on November 4 for 12 days was relaxed on November 11 and 12 for the celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
The road rationing scheme is back in Delhi today after a gap of three days.
For now, the third edition of the odd-even will continue till November 15 and will be applicable in Delhi from 8 am to 8 pm.
The suspension of the Odd-Even rule for three days has created a tremendous impact on the air quality in the national capital as the AQI is at emergency levels again on Wednesday with an overall count of 476.
While overall AQI is in the severe category, PM10 count is at 489 and PM2.5 at 326 is also in the severe category.
The toxic haze continues in the Delhi-NCR and will only worsen on Thursday. According to a forecast by Safar India, no sudden recovery is expected under this condition at least till Friday and the AQI is likely to deteriorate further towards severe plus category by Thursday. The condition may slightly improve by November 15, it said.
According to Safar India, the effective stubble fire counts estimated by SAFAR-integrated multi-satellite methodology have shown decreasing trend and are 740 on November 11, but the transport-level wind direction is forecast to be highly favourable for plume intrusion till Friday.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Delhi government on a PIL filed by advocate Sanjiv Kumar, challenging its Odd-Even scheme terming it “an illegal classification of vehicles”. The court has posted the matter for hearing on November 15.
On the first day of Odd-Even implementation, the apex court had panned the Delhi government over its toxic air and questioned the capability of the Odd-Even road rationing scheme in combating air pollution.
The Supreme Court noted that it has been pointed out that the use of two and three-wheelers was causing more harm and that there is no use of implementing the odd-even scheme in such a situation.