Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has opined that the central government should not simply leave the issue of air pollution to the Delhi government and consider it as "top priority" which should be resolved permanently.
Stating the "pollution is now heading towards Rajasthan" after engulfing the rest of the Northern states, Mr Gehlot told media on Sunday, "If the national capital becomes a gas chamber, you can imagine what would happen. I was in Delhi for two days. I felt what the people are going through there (in Delhi). The pollution is now heading towards Rajasthan, so this should be a matter of concern for us too."
He continued, "We request the Centre to not simply leave the matter up to Delhi government. This matter should be a top priority, and be resolved permanently. This year the pollution in Delhi has crossed all limits."
Mr Gehlot stated closing schools and factories is not going to be enough to tackle the situation.
Air pollution levels in the national capital escalated to hazardous and visibility dropped significantly as a thick blanket of smog engulfed several parts of the city despite mild showers on Sunday.
Notably, for the first time in this season, the Air Quality Index (AQI) docked as high as 625 at 10 am yesterday. An AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401-500 "severe". Above 500 is "severe-plus emergency" category.
Looking at the worsening air quality in the national capital, Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has brought back its Odd-Even scheme from today. It will go on till November 15.