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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Odd-even in Delhi ends today, air pollution levels to decide extension of scheme

Friday, November 15, is the last day of the odd-even road rationing scheme in Delhi. However, Delhi’s transport minister has said they have received a number of requests to extend the drive as the air quality is still in the severe category.

delhi Updated: Nov 15, 2019 06:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A civil defence personnel holds a placard to encourage commuters to follow the odd-even scheme, at ITO crossing, New Delhi, Ion Thursday, November 14, 2019.
A civil defence personnel holds a placard to encourage commuters to follow the odd-even scheme, at ITO crossing, New Delhi, Ion Thursday, November 14, 2019. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
         

A decision on extending the odd-even road space rationing drive will be taken on Friday, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said on Thursday.

“As of now, Friday is the last day of the odd-even drive in Delhi. However, we have received a number of requests and appeals to extend the drive as air quality is still in the severe category,” Gahlot said.

The minister said a final call on whether the road rationing drive should be extended would be taken only on Friday, based on the air pollution levels. On Wednesday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the Delhi government was ready to extend the odd-even drive if pollution levels in the national capital continued to spike.

On Thursday, 475drivers were prosecuted for violating the drive. With this, the total number of challans issued since November 4, when the drive started, stands at 4,309.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel once again staged a protest against the scheme. On Thursday, the leader stood at the busy ITO intersection holding placards blaming the Delhi government for the spike in pollution levels.

“The Kejriwal government failed to work on 90% of the internal factors that cause pollution. Kejriwal should resign for making Delhi a gas chamber. Even the Supreme Court has raised serious questions on the implementation and impact of the odd-even drive,” Goel said.

On the first day of the odd-even drive, Goel had staged a protest by deliberately violating the rule.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for violating the pollution control norms in Delhi. “When pollution increases in Delhi, the BJP celebrates and their slogan is ‘Pradushan Badhao’ (increase pollution). It’s unfortunate that when the AAP government arranged a four-day laser show to encourage people not to burn crackers this Diwali, the BJP encouraged people to burn crackers in Diwali,” said Sanjay Singh, AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP.

“When the AAP government brought back odd-even, then BJP leaders drove cars violating the norms, he said.

The AAP leader urged union environment minister Prakash Javadekar to hold a meeting with all state governments of North India to discuss solutions for stop stubble burning and suggest long-term anti-pollution measures.