New Delhi: The Delhi government on Friday announced that it is postponing its plan to implement the odd-even scheme in the national capital amid a slight improvement in air quality.
The AAP government had earlier proposed implementing the scheme from November 13 to 20 due to worsening air quality. This car-rationing measure has been applied three times in the national capital in response to subpar air quality.
“An improvement is seen in the pollution level. The AQI which was 450+ has now reached around 300. The decision to implement odd-even from November 13 to 20 has been postponed. The situation would be analyzed again after Diwali,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.
The air quality in Delhi showed a noticeable improvement on Friday morning due to overnight rain, following over a week of hazardous pollution. At 7 am, the AQI in Delhi was recorded at 408, an improvement from 437 at 4 pm on Thursday.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had forecasted a slight improvement in air quality right before Diwali, attributing it to favorable meteorological conditions, including light rain.
Rai earlier said that the scheme would be put into action in the city once its effectiveness is evaluated by the Supreme Court, followed by an official order.
However, the supreme court expressed skepticism on the effectiveness of the Delhi government’s car-rationing initiative, intended to alleviate vehicular pollution, dismissing it as mere optics.
During a Friday hearing concerning the severe air pollution in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court once more raised doubts about the odd-even rule and directed authorities to promptly halt farm fires.
“As per the report from amicus curiae, advocate assisting the court on the issue, odd-even does not help; it will have a minimal impact,” said a bench headed by Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
The bench observed that despite several reports and committees addressing the pollution problem, there was a lack of tangible action at the ground level.
Implemented in 2016, the odd-even car rationing scheme allows vehicles to operate on alternate days depending on whether their number plates are odd or even.
(With inputs from agencies)