Delhi’s air quality worsens: Govt mulls implementing odd-even scheme to curb pollution

20 October, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

Air quality in Delhi National

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday said that the government will think about implementing the odd-even scheme if all other ways fail. Meanwhile, CM Arvind Kejriwal has flagged off "Red...

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Delhiites are forced to face the deteriorating air quality as Delhi’s air pollution level has been continuously rising for the last few weeks. Peoples who come out for a morning walk and exercise are complaining about the pollution levels. “I am a regular walker and I noticed that there is a problem with breathing for the last few days. The comfort level, which we had a month ago, is down,” a moring walker has told ANI.

Another daily jogger says, “Even I am facing breathing problems and a sore throat.” Due to the pollution, the COVID-recovered patients and those with asthma are most at risk. “For asthmatic persons, pollution is poison. Doctors advise them not to come out of homes. It’s serious, the government should take serious action,” a Delhiite says.

The Delhi government has claimed that it is taking concrete steps to curb the pollution. The new measures include: setting up a war room to combat pollution; coordination with other states; identification of hotspots in Delhi; initiation of tree transplantation policy, imposing fines, and launching of a green Delhi app.

Meanwhile, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has said that the government will think about implementing the odd-even scheme if all other ways fail.  Implementing the Odd/Even scheme in the national capital would be the last resort, and would be mulled if all other measures to control air pollution fails, said Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai.

“We have implemented the Odd/Even scheme many times in Delhi. It would be our last resort & we’ll think about its implementation if rest of the methods to curb the air pollution fails,” Rai said at a press conference here. The Minister’s statement comes at a time when air pollution is on the rise in the national capital, owing in part to the stubble burning in nearby states and other reasons.

Meanwhile, Rai also appealed to Centre and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar to hold meetings every 15 days with the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan over the issue of pollution. Earlier on Monday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Raghav Chadha on Monday took part in “Red Light On, Gadi Off” campaign to urge commuters to switch off the engines of their vehicles when they stop at a red light to reduce the vehicular emission in the national capital.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched the campaign on October 15 to tackle air pollution in the national capital and appealed to the people to turn off the engines of their vehicles while waiting at traffic signals.