Skies cleared up, no need to reintroduce odd-even, says Kejriwal
On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that there is no need to extend the odd-even road rationing scheme for now as the air in the national capital has started clearing up. The third edition of the odd-even scheme, which was effective from November 4, came to an end in Delhi on November 15. Here are more details.
Kejriwal announced no extension on odd-even at press conference
At a press conference in Delhi, the CM responded to a query on implementing odd-even again, saying, "There is no need of odd-even scheme now as the skies have cleared up." The road-rationing scheme was implemented to limit pollution in the city, bearing in mind the effects of stubble burning in the neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab.
What is the odd-even scheme?
Under the scheme, vehicles are to ply alternatively on odd and even dates depending on whether their license plate number ends in an odd or even number. The first two editions of the scheme were introduced in 2016.
Delhi's air quality fell in 'poor' category on Monday
Notably, on Monday, Delhi's air quality remained 'poor', an improvement over the past several weeks. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Air Quality Index (AQI) was 222 at 8am. Earlier this month, a thick blanket of smog covered the city's skyline, forcing schools shut. However, air quality is expected to worsen Wednesday onwards, the government's air quality-monitoring service SAFAR noted.
Supreme Court said odd-even is 'half-baked'
The Aam Aadmi Party government's odd-even policy was, however, dismissed as "half-baked" by the Supreme Court due to exemptions and focus on vehicular pollution alone. It suggested the Delhi government to limit cars per family. Delhi has also blamed stubble burning for rising pollution levels. Meanwhile, the court has asked chief secretaries of Delhi and its adjoining states to appear before it on November 25.
Strong correlation between stubble burning and pollution: Kejriwal
A very strong correlation can be seen between stubble burning and the spike in air pollution in North India. As soon as stubble burning began in the first week of Oct, the AQI started rising. Now that burning is coming to an end, air quality is also improving.. https://t.co/0RopC2Al5x— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 17, 2019
Kejriwal also addressed Delhi tap water's 'worst' ranking
Separately, on Monday, Kejriwal also addressed a government survey of 21 major Indian cities ranking Delhi's tap water the worst for drinking. He said a city's water quality cannot be judged on 11 samples adding, "I'll take 5 samples from each ward of Delhi, get it checked and put data in public." Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan agreed to jointly conduct the inquiry.