New Delhi | With the national capital battling ‘severe’ air pollution, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday the Delhi government will implement odd-even scheme, to regulate plying of private vehicles in the city, whenever it is required.
He said the Delhi government was taking several steps for reducing pollution levels in the national capital. In view of the city’s ‘severe’ air quality, the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) on Monday banned industrial activities in pollution hot spots and construction work across Delhi-NCR till Wednesday.
“Whenever the odd-even (scheme) is required, we will definitely implement it,” Kejriwal told reporters here. “We all have to be participants in reducing pollution. The Delhi government is taking several steps. We have carried out large-scale tree plantation drive. The government will procure 3000 buses soon. Also, we sanctioned a large phase of Metro… We are making all efforts on our part,” he said.
Asked about the Centre’s role in reducing pollution levels, the chief minister said the Union government should call a meeting of neighbouring states as “air has no boundary”. “In October and November, there are around 20-25 days when pollution level increases in Delhi due to stubble burning (in neighbouring states). Until the centre takes steps, nothing cannot be done,” Kejriwal said.
Delhi’s air quality remained in the ‘severe’ category for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday as meteorological conditions continued to be unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants, authorities said. The city is facing its worst pollution crisis since Diwali.
While the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data showed the overall air quality index (AQI) at ‘severe’ level of 416, the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) recorded an AQI of 423. In view of the city’s severe air quality, authorities have advised people to minimise outdoor activities and avoid use of private vehicles.
Industries located in hotspot industrial areas of Wazirpur, Mundka, Narela, Bawana, Sahibabad and Faridabad will remain closed until Wednesday, EPCA Chairperson Bhure Lal had said in a letter to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev.