Amid a sharp increase in air pollution in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has stated that the Delhi government will decide on extension of the odd-even scheme on November 18. The minister held a press conference at 12pm on Friday, where he said, "As per weather forecast, air quality in Delhi will improve in the next 2-3 days. If the air quality doesn't improve, we will take a decision on extending odd-even vehicle scheme on November 18."
Delhiites woke up to a rather thick blanket of smog on Friday. Air quality in the city has dipped to 'severe-plus' level. November 15 is the third consecutive day of Delhi's dipping air quality. Friday is the last and final day of 12-day odd-even car rationing scheme.
Air quality in several areas of the city was recorded at severe categories. AQI at Pusa Road was at 777, while it was 930 at Dwarka Sector 8. AQI at Sri Aurobindo Marg was 733, 757 at Ashok Vihar, 610 at Jahangirpuri, 808 at Narela, 865 at Bawana, 722 at Okhla, 765 at Rohini.
He had earlier stated that the scheme could be extended "if need arises". "If the need arises, we will extend it," Kejriwal had said to media.
The CM had also appealed to the opposition parties to not resist the scheme. "Pollution has increased drastically. All of Delhi is demanding odd-even. At such a time, the Opposition should support the people's wish," he had said.
Arvind Kejriwal has blamed stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for the air quality in Delhi. He had said that these states were disregarding the directions of the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Delhi government on a plea challenging the odd-even road rationing scheme. The apex court also directed it to show the data of pollution in Delhi from October till November 14 this year. The bench also directed Delhi government to submit pollution data from October 1 to December 31, 2018.