Every year during this time, people living in the national capital face the issue of pollution and smog. Just like every year, the government has also implemented bans on different types of vehicles and construction in the National Capital and nearby regions. The Delhi government has now brought back the Odd-Even rule in Delhi. The rule will be implemented from November 13 to November 20. The Delhi government is implementing this rule after a long gap. Vehicles with registration number ending with odd-numbers will be allowed on road on odd dates while cars with even registration number can come out on even dates.
The odd-even rule is actually implemented in the capital to keep a check on the number of vehicles plying on the road. The country will celebrate Diwali on November 12, and the air quality in the capital is expected to worsen after this. In order to keep a check on vehicle pollution, the government has decided to implement this rule. The Delhi government decided to implement this rule earlier today. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, over the deteriorating air quality in the capital.
It is not just Delhi, but the nearby areas like Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Gurugram are also affected by stubble burning and the burning of firecrackers in the nearby states. Delhi’s Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, said the odd-even rule is being imposed over the existing restrictions in Delhi. The government has not given any exemptions to any type of construction or demolition work. He also added that apart from primary schools, even classes from 6 to 10 should also remain closed till November 10.
Gopal Rai said, “It is unfortunate that the pollution in Greater Noida was more than Delhi yesterday. Forget about meetings by the central government; they have not even replied to the letter.”
The government has already implemented stage 4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) from Sunday after the air quality in the NCR region became severe. As part of the new action plan, the government has put a ban on diesel trucks, construction, and work from home for 50 percent of staff in offices. Rai also mentioned that Punjab stubble burning is not polluting Delhi. “Because the wind is slow, and that pollution is not reaching… Haryana and UP stubble burning is polluting Delhi because these states are closer than Punjab.”
According to the New Delhi-based Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), 4,160 farm fires were reported in North India on Sunday. This was the highest number of this season. The Delhi government did come up with a solution for farmers to decompose the stubble at their farms without burning; however, a majority of farmers still choose to burn the stubble as a quick resolution.
Last week, the government of Delhi and the Commission of Air Quality Management (CAQM) implemented the GRAP-III (Graded Response Action Plan). Under this action plan, BS3 petrol and BS4 diesel cars were completely banned on the roads in Delhi. The Delhi Police are actually keeping a close eye on such vehicles on the road. They are also implementing heavy fines for offenders. The ban continues even with the Odd-Even rule in place. It is not just applicable to Delhi but also to neighboring areas, including Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Gautam Budh Nagar. BS4 diesel or BS3 petrol vehicles, if caught, will be issued a challan of Rs 20,000.
Featured image: Third Pole