To counter toxic air, Delhi govt brings back Odd-Even rule

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: View of the Central Park at Rajiv Chowk, enveloped by heavy smog in New Delhi, Nov 8, 2017. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: View of the Central Park at Rajiv Chowk, enveloped by heavy smog in New Delhi, Nov 8, 2017.
Photo – PTI

In the wake of pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas crossing danger mark, Kejriwal Delhi government has announced to bring back road rationing ‘Odd-Even’ rule. Under the rule, vehicles will be restricted on a given day based on the last numeral of its licence number.

It is reported that scheme will be in implementation for five days starting November 13. With pollution levels crossing danger mark, the state government had already hinted to bring in the scheme.

The Odd-Even rule was previously introduced last year in 15-day span between January 1 – January 15 and April 16 – April 30. The move recieved mixed reviews and even experts were divided on its benefits in curbing pollution.

On wednesday, the Union Health Ministry too issued an advisory asking children and persons with breathing difficulty to not venture out in the open. It also advised people to drink plenty of water and fluids, as thick smog continued to hang low across the national capital.

“People should remain indoor if they have breathing difficulty and also try to keep children indoor, as much as possible. People should avoid morning walk or any other strenuous outdoor activity that increases breathing rate,” it said.

The Delhi government has already ordered shutting of schools till Sunday, also banned construction activities and entry of trucks in the city.

The smog, which triggered near-zero visibility at several places and accidents on highways, is a mixture of carbon monoxide, particulate matter such as PM2.5, PM10, ground-level ozone and oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide, the Delhi government earlier said in a health advsiory.

New Delhi: A man, wearing an anti-pollution mask, jogs throgh smog at Lodhi Garden in New Delhi on Tuesday.  PTI Photo

FILE: New Delhi: A man, wearing an anti-pollution mask, jogs throgh smog at Lodhi Garden in New Delhi. PTI Photo

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan also assured measures on the part of Central government and said there was no need to panic. Hope the situation would return to normal in the “next few days”, he said.

“I am hopeful that things would be under control. There is no reason for anyone to panic. We should be taking adequate amount of precautions to ensure that we by and large stay indoors and do not expose our children to too much of polluted air,” Harsh Vardhan said.

Vardhan, who was in Panaji to participate in a function organised by the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography said, “From yesterday to today, things have become better (on the air pollution front in Delhi). All this actually got precipitated because of weather conditions.”

(With inputs from Agencies)