Delhi News: State Environment Minister Gopal Rai announced today that due to the increasing pollution levels, school closures have been extended to Class 11 for this week, and the odd-even rule will return to Delhi the day after Diwali.
Delhi’s Persistent Pollution Crisis
For almost a week now, Delhi has been covered in a thick layer of deadly pollution, forcing the government to halt the entry of diesel trucks and impose a Stage 4 Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) restriction on building activity in the city. Rai elaborated on additional actions done by his government, such as prohibiting crackers and installing smog guns, and stated that the restriction on BS3 petrol and BS4 diesel vehicles will also remain in effect.
Odd-Even Rule Returns After Diwali
On November 13, the day after Diwali, the odd-even rule—which has been the Arvind Kejriwal government’s main initiative in combating pollution for the previous three years—will return for a week. On odd-number days, only cars with registration numbers that finish in an odd digit will be permitted on Delhi’s roads; on even-number days, only cars with registration numbers that end in an even digit will be permitted. The minister stated that the necessity to extend the odd-even rule past November 20 will be examined at a later time.
Alarming Air Quality Index
This morning in Delhi, the total air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 488, which is far higher than the top limit established by the World Health Organisation. RK Puram (466), ITO (402), Patparganj (471), and New Moti Bagh (488) were some of the worst-affected regions. The quality of air that people in Delhi and the surrounding cities are breathing is comparable to smoking 25–30 cigarettes a day, with the AQI hovering around 500.