Delhi’s battles for fresh air continues for the fifth day consecutively. According to the government of India’s air quality information service SAFAR, the overall air quality index (AQI) on November 16 was recorded at a colossal 505.
This means that the condition has only worsened from a day before when the overall AQI was at 482.
In the neighbouring city, Ghaziabad, the overall AQI on November 16 was 500 and Noida’s situation was no better as the AQI stood at 500 (PM10) and 471 (PM2.5)
The AQI near Lodhi Road in the wee hours of November 16 stood at 521(PM10) and 599(PM2.5).
In one of Delhi’s busiest areas, Chandi Chowk, the AQI at 6:30 AM on November 16 was recorded at 471 (PM10) and 504 (PM2.5), which fall under the “severe” category.
Now the question is will Odd-even be extended?
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on November 16 in a press conference said “We do not want people to undergo unnecessary inconvenience. Air quality is predicted to improve over the next two-three days. The final call on extending the odd-even scheme will be taken on November 18.
The Odd-even scheme that ended on November 15 had commenced on November 4. However, for two days – November 11-12, the Odd-even restrictions were lifted due to the celebration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
Taking note of the toxic air in the national capital, the Supreme Court on November 15 questioned the Delhi government over the delay in tackling pollution.
The court said, Odd-even may not be a permanent solution, especially when the Central Pollution Control Board says cars constitute 3 per cent of pollution levels. Garbage dumping, construction wastes, and road dust are also major contributors to the pollution levels.