In a bid to curb pollution in Delhi and National Capital Region, Authorities on Tuesday hiked vehicle parking fees by four times in Delhi due to worsening air quality in the capital as the high-pollution winter months kicked in.The decision was taken at a meeting of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) here to discourage people from using private vehicles as air pollution worsened further and touched more alarming proportions on Tuesday. The air quality index, that measures the amount of poisonous particulate matter in the air, hit the “severe” level of 451 on a scale where the maximum reading is 500 and where anything above 100 is considered unhealthy by the Central Pollution Control Board.
The National Capital Region saw its worst air quality and smog situation of the year — which was even worse than a day after Diwali, as a yellow blanket of smog hung heavily in the sky. The pollution level rose to dangerous levels, with 18 out of 21 active pollution monitoring stations recording “severe” air quality.
With severe quality terribly bad, expect Delhi Government to implement odd-even rule and might even mull to shut down schools. Kailash Gahlot, Minister of Transport, Delhi Government had earlier said “With the increase in pollution levels in Delhi, the government may have to resort to emergency measures, including the odd-even scheme.”
The famous odd-even scheme 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 happen 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.
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