Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said there is no need to extend the odd-even scheme as the weather conditions have improved.
The decision to not extend the scheme comes on the heels of Supreme Court coming down heavily on the Delhi government saying odd-even was ‘half-baked’ and despite its implementation, pollution levels were on the rise. The Delhi government, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, told the top court that the scheme helps reduce pollution levels by five to 15 per cent and the air quality could be even better if no exemption is given under the scheme.
The air quality in Delhi improved marginally on Monday but remained in the “poor” category for the second consecutive day. At 9 am on Monday, the air quality index (AQI) in the national capital stood at 207 against an AQI of 254 at the same time on Sunday.
However, there was a respite on late Sunday evening as the AQI dropped to 198, which falls under “moderate” category. Experts said strong winds due to western disturbance has helped dispersed pollutants in Delhi-NCR and other parts of north India.
Anticipating an increase in pollution post-Diwali and during crop burning season, the Delhi government had announced in September that the third phase of the odd-even scheme, whereby cars can ply on alternate days based on the last digit of their registration number, will be implemented between November 4 and 15.
The air quality in Delhi improved marginally on Monday but remained in the “poor” category for the second consecutive day.Before the implementation of the scheme, the average AQI in Delhi between October 23 and November 3 was 369.5. The highest was 494, recorded on November 3. When the odd-even was in force, from November 4-15, the average AQI was 328.5. The highest was 463, on November 14. The average AQI had decreased during the odd-even phase by 41 points.
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