The deteriorating air quality in Delhi/NCR is choking the city for second consecutive day the administration is ready to take a slew of measures to counter this. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that government might reintroduce its odd-even scheme to reduce the vehicular movement. Reports from concerned authorities reveal that the PM10 level was recorded at 436 which were described by Sisodia as “Close to Severe” issuing a health advisory for high risk people, including children and elderly people.
Manish Sisodia further said, “If we technically see, the situation is not severe as yet. If PM10 reaches 500 ug/m3, the situation is then called severe. We can say that the air pollution level is close to severe.”
Burning crops in Punjab and Haryana and mosture content has turned Delhi into a gas chamber. To reduce the smog the Supreme Court authorised EPCA has already announced a four-times hike in parking fees in Delhi and reducing Delhi Metro fares in off-peak hours.
Delhi and NCR has thick haze hung that can be easily seen and has reduced the visibilities on highways and airport runways causing terrible traffic jams and flight delays. The emergency Graded Action Plan will be implemented if the condition becomes severe which will include banning the entry of truck, implementing odd-even formula for car’s movement.
Odd-Even rule can be implemented when air pollution levels are in the ’emergency’ category for 48 hours or more. However, just not allowing a few private cars/SUVs on roads will not be a solution to this as it happens in April 2016. Old polluting commercial vehicles, banning over 12 years old vehicles is a possible solution and it has to be implemented over a period of time keeping sustainable development in mind and not just when there is an emergency warning. The rule was first introduced by AAP government in 2016 after Delhi High Court directed the Centre and State governments to come up with comprehensive action plans to put a check on city’s “alarming” pollution rate.
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