National

Odd-even scheme begins in New Delhi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 04, 2019 Published on November 04, 2019

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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal appeals for the proper implementation of the scheme

In the wake of Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to auto and taxi drivers not to overcharge customers, as the odd-even scheme comes into force for private vehicles. 

On Monday, those vehicles whose car plate number ends with an odd number were being penalised for plying.

The scheme also applies to persons plying across the border and coming to the capital city from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The scheme will be applied from 8 AM until 8 PM every day. Kejriwal and his colleagues carpooled to work, while Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia cycled his way through the haze to his office.

"From February till October, the Delhi skies were clean, and for the last 20 days, it is not like Delhi people bought 1 crore cars or 10 lakh industries were installed. It is because of stubble burning that we are facing pollution. The burning of crackers this year has also been substantially low. We have to halt the stubble burning smoke, I would not like to blame anyone for this, however we have to come together and talk about the issue," Kejriwal said. He also said that masks are being distributed to Delhiites to counter pollution. 

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research the particulate matter 2.5 count remained in severe category at 438 micrograms per cubic meter and PM 10 hovered at 571.

On Tuesday, SAFAR has predicted the levels to come slightly down but at levels of 263, PM 2.5 is still predicted to be in 'severe,' category. 

While a good rain helps in improving air quality, drizzle that Delhi experienced in calm air has lead to arresting of pollutants more firmly in the atmosphere, SAFAR stated.

While there will be no rain, wind speed, humidity, high stubble burning and so on are all factors that are going against lowering the pollution.

State versus Centre

Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar criticised the Delhi government for spending huge sums of money for advertising, but doing little to improve the air quality in the city.

Javadekar, who was the chief guest at an event of the Indian Chemical Council, wanted to know whether the Delhi government was following steps suggested by the Central Pollution Control Board to combat hazardous levels of air pollution in the city.

Javadekar, who talked to the media on the sidelines of the event, was reacting to Delhi Deputy Minister Manish Sisodia's comment that giving just 63,000 machines given by the Centre covers only a minor fraction of 23 lakh farmers in Punjab and Haryana.

A sizeable number of farmers in these two States were allegedly burning the crop stubble to prepare the field for the winter crop of wheat, and this smoke has been playing a major role in worsening air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas.

Javadekar said the Narendra Modi government has so far spent Rs 1,110 crore to improve the air quality while Arvind Kejriwal was busy splurging Rs 1,500 crore on advertisements.

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Published on November 04, 2019
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