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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Arvind Kejriwal says no need to reintroduce odd-even scheme as Delhi’s air clears up

The third edition of the odd-even scheme was implemented between November 4 and 15. Last week, Kejriwal had put off a decision on extending the scheme for Monday saying that the air quality was likely to improve.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2019 16:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal address a press conference on Monday in New Delhi
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal address a press conference on Monday in New Delhi(Sonu Mehta/ HT photo)
         

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said there was no need to reintroduce the odd-even road rationing scheme in the national capital as the pollution levels have gone down.

“The sky is clear now, so there is no need of it,” Kejriwal said. The third edition of the odd-even scheme was implemented between November 4 and 15.

Last week, Kejriwal had put off a decision on extending the scheme for Monday saying that the air quality was likely to improve.

 Watch | ‘Sky is clear now, no need for odd-even’: Arvind Kejriwal

The air quality was in the ‘poor’ category in Delhi on Monday. According to data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 8am was 222.

This is a marked improvement from last week when pollution had spiked and the air quality dropped to ‘emergency’ levels. Schools were closed for two days across Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) as a thick blanket of toxic smog covered the city.

Government agencies have however cautioned that the air quality is likely to from Wednesday.

Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government was pulled up by the Supreme Court last week over efforts to combat pollution and has been asked to produce pollution data to back up the rationale behind the odd-even scheme.

After the court’s observations, Kejriwal had conceded that odd-even would have a limited impact on Delhi’s pollution levels and said that the major source was stubble burning.

The top court has also sought answers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on stubble burning. After the court was informed that farm fires have not stopped since its last hearing, the judges asked the chief secretaries of Delhi and adjoining states to appear before it on November 25, the second time they have been told to do so.

The odd-even scheme prohibits plying of private vehicles based on the last digit of their vehicle registration numbers. Vehicles with odd digits are allowed on odd dates and even numbered ones ply on even days.