Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday said that with agencies predicting a dip in pollution levels in the capital, there may not be a need to extend the odd-even scheme, in force from November 4-15.
However, he added if the air quality does not improve as per forecast, the government will review the situation Monday morning and take a call on whether or not to extend the scheme.
“I would like to thank the people of Delhi for their voluntary participation and cooperation. Around 200-350 challans were issued every day on an average, which is very less in a city of 2 crore. Going by the forecast for the next two-three days, air quality is likely to improve. We don’t want to cause unnecessary inconvenience to people. We will monitor the situation tomorrow and day after. If air quality improves, then odd-even is not required. Otherwise, on Monday we will take a final call…now the main reason behind pollution in the city is stubble burning,” the Chief Minister said.
While the combined effect of Delhi’s base pollution levels, impact of stubble burning and prevailing weather and wind conditions have kept the air severely polluted for the past four days, India Meteorological Department officials said the situation is set to improve, mainly owing to increased wind speed and a change in wind direction from northwesterly to northerly from Saturday. “As a result, the impact of farm fires on Delhi’s air will reduce significantly,” said an IMD official.
There was expected to be a significant improvement in Delhi’s air quality Friday but a western disturbance caused light drizzle, aiding the accumulation of pollutants.