11 Nov 2023

Delhi Pollution Update: Odd-even implementation deferred; Delhi's Environment Minister Gopal Rai said this

Delhi Pollution Update: The Delhi government's earlier decision to enforce the odd-even vehicle restriction starting from November 13th has been postponed, as announced by Delhi's Environment Minister, Gopal Rai. He cited the recent improvement in Delhi's air quality, attributed to rainfall, as the reason for withdrawing the decision. 

Rai emphasized that with the current favorable environmental conditions, implementing the odd-even rule is not deemed necessary at this moment. However, he cautioned that if pollution levels worsen post-Diwali, reconsideration of the odd-even system will be on the table.

Minister Gopal Rai stated, "There has been a notable change in Delhi's weather since last night, leading to a continuous improvement in pollution levels. The Air Quality Index (AQI), which was previously 450+, has now dropped to around 300, with potential for further improvement. The implementation of odd-even, originally scheduled for November 13th to 20th, has been deferred. A reassessment will occur after the Diwali festivities."

The recent rainfall on Thursday night and morning has contributed to a reduction in pollution levels, bringing relief to the people of Delhi. This positive development prompted the Central Government to temporarily postpone the implementation of the Odd-Even rule. The duration of this relief from pollution due to rain remains to be seen in the coming days.

Earlier, light rainfall blessed several parts of Delhi-NCR on the night between Thursday and Friday, offering a welcome relief from the escalating air pollution in the national capital. Rainfall occurred in the midst of the Delhi government's ongoing initiatives to execute 'artificial rain' through cloud seeding, scheduled for around November 20, as a measure to mitigate the city's pollution crisis.

Overall air quality in the capital city has once again deteriorated

Despite the precipitation, the overall air quality in the capital city has once again deteriorated to the 'severe' category. According to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 407 at 6 am on Friday. The city has currently activated Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) after its air quality plunged into the 'severe plus' category.

In a proactive response to combat pollution, the Delhi government deployed ministers to oversee the implementation of anti-pollution measures. Various ministers were observed inspecting different areas and border regions connecting Delhi to neighboring states on Thursday.

On Friday, the Delhi Police arrested a farmer in Dwarka's Chawla area for allegedly burning stubble on his farmland, as reported by an official to PTI. The police received information about the stubble burning in the early hours of Thursday, prompting the Chawla police station team to swiftly respond.

"Upon reaching the site, our staff found that the stubble had already been burned. A fire tender was summoned to extinguish the flames," stated the officer.

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