New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday announced his government was bringing back the odd-even scheme for a third time from 4-15 November.
The decision comes after Kejriwal met environment and sustainability experts to formulate a winter air pollution action plan to prevent the capital from turning into a ‘gas chamber’.
The chief minister announced his seven-point action plan to tackle pollution due to crop burning which includes distribution of masks, mechanised sweeping of roads, tree plantation, and special plans for 12 pollution hot spots in the city.
The scheme, which was first implemented in January 2016, restricts cars from plying on alternate days depending on whether their registration numbers ending in odd or even numbers. It starts with people using vehicles with registration plates ending in an odd number.
Two rounds of the odd-even policy have been implemented earlier to combat pollution, when the scheme would be effective from 8 am to 8 pm every day. Also, women were exempted from the scheme.
According to a study by IIT and IIM, pollution levels in 2017 dropped by a mere 2% in the first phase of this scheme, barring Greater Kailash, Shalimar Bagh and two other areas where levels came down by 10%.
The months of November to January are particularly bad for Delhi when stubble burning, coupled with lack of winds, thicken the air with PM 2.5 and PM 10 particulate matter, increasing pollution to rather dangerous levels.
It is also during these months when respiratory problems spike in the region.
“In November, stubble burning from neighbouring states make Delhi a gas chamber. Even though Punjab and Delhi work together to tackle this issue, we cannot let this continue to happen,” Kejriwal said.
The chief minister also urged people not to burst firecrackers on Diwali.
(With inputs from PTI)