Delhi government has announced that it is ready to implement the odd-even scheme again in the wake of the alarmingly high level of pollution in the air. The scheme will be in place starting 13th to 17th November 2017. The government had said that the system would be in place if air pollution remains above ‘severe plus’ category for 48 hours. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has asserted that he had directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to hire 500 buses on a short-term basis and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been asked to procure 300 buses to handle the rush if and when the odd-even scheme is launched. The AAP government has asked IGL to keep 1.5 lakh stickers ready for CNG-run vehicles which would also be given exemption from the odd-even scheme. Gahlot held a meeting with top officials of the Transport Department, DMRC, DTC, Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transport System (DIMTS) and the divisional commissioner regarding preparations for the odd-even scheme. Two-wheelers will be exempt from the rule.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had previously said that the 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 was described by Sisodia as “Close to Severe” issuing a health advisory for high-risk people, including children and elderly people.
A reason for thick smog hanging over Delhi/NCR was attributed to crop burning in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. To reduce the smog, the Supreme Court authorised EPCA has also announced a four-time hike in parking fees in Delhi and reducing Delhi Metro fares during off-peak hours.
While this system may reduce the number of privately owned vehicles on roads, the question arises – is that enough to bring down terrifying levels of pollution? A relevant incident here is how China recently tackled its smog problem. The methods involved restricting or shutting manufacturing at steel factories and similar, traffic was restricted, among other measures.
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