Delhi government says odd-even scheme for cars would be introduced if pollution levels persist
A Supreme Court-mandated pollution monitoring body declared an air pollution emergency in the national capital after the deadly grey smog that had enveloped the city persisted, pushing the Delhi government to ban entry of trucks and halt all construction activity into the city.
A decision on starting the odd-even scheme that allows cars with odd and even registration numbers on alternate days could be next. This decision would be taken tomorrow after watching pollution levels for one more day.
The city government said air pollution levels had crossed into the "severe plus", or emergency category and would roll out the vehicle rationing scheme if pollution levels persist for 48 hours, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot told news agency Press Trust of India.
As the capital struggled with the worsening smog and air pollution yesterday, the court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority, or EPCA, had told the city government to hike parking charges to four times the usual parking tariff and augment bus and metro services.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Delhi - the world's most polluted capital - a "gas chamber" and ordered junior schools in the city to shut. But the Aam Aadmi Party government also took pot shots at the BJP-led national coalition, that AAP leaders say, is quick to take credit but slips into the shadows when it is time to take responsibility.
Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal announced the restrictions on movement of trucks except those carrying essential commodities after a meeting where he, rather unusually, had also invited Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The Chief Minister often accuses the Lieutenant Governor of summoning officials behind his back and had earlier in the day, blamed stubble burning in neighbouring states Punjab and Haryana for the capital toxic air.