New Delhi: The Delhi government has decided to postpone the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme that was supposed to be implemented from November 13 to November 20, citing the improved air quality after the recent rain and wind in the national capital. The scheme, which allows only vehicles with odd or even number plates to ply on alternate days, was aimed at reducing the vehicular pollution in Delhi, which has been facing a severe air quality crisis for the past few weeks.
Delhi government minister Gopal Rai announced the decision on Friday, saying that the government will review the pollution situation after Diwali and take further action accordingly. He said that the government had approached the Supreme Court for its approval of the scheme, and will wait for its written order before making any further strategy.
Rai said that the rain and wind since Thursday night have brought down the pollution levels significantly, and the air quality index (AQI) has improved from the ‘severe’ category to the ‘poor’ category. He said that the government will monitor the AQI after Diwali, when the pollution is expected to rise again due to the bursting of firecrackers, and then decide whether to resume the odd-even scheme or not.
He also said that the government had received information that many trucks, which were banned from entering Delhi under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) level 4, had entered the city from other borders. He said that many cabinet colleagues had conducted a reality check on the ground to verify the information and take action against the violators. He appealed to the people of Delhi to cooperate with the government in its efforts to combat pollution and follow the guidelines issued by the authorities.