India’s capital city is choking as the air pollution levels hit three years high, there seems to be no end to the woes of residents in the Delhi NCR region. Delhi’s air quality was in ‘severe-plus emergency’ category on Monday morning. System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the government-run agency reported Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) was 708 at 6:30 am. The other major cities in the NCR region like Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad too recorded severe-plus emergency overall air quality.
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 and that’s where the Delhi stands as of today.
In a bid to tackle the pollution emitted by cars, starting today, the National Capital of the country will have to make way for another round of implementation of the odd-even rule. A step that’s nestled in the heart of finding a means to cut down on pollution, in a bid to safeguard the already pollution-marred city, it’s not going to be the first time that the odd-even rule will be executed in the capital city of the world’s largest democracy.
So where it stands at the moment, the odd-even rule will come into effect from November 4, 2019 and it will continue until the 15th of the month.
How the rule works is pretty simple!
Vehicular pollution, it must be reminded, is the single-most biggest cause of environmental pollution in the city. So if the number of vehicles hitting the roads is reduced, it is bound to render a positive step toward the environs of the region.
But a facet about the odd-even rule due to be implemented right at the start of the winter season is that (at the moment) it is not clear and not very likely that the rule will come into play during the weekends.
Also, women drivers will be exempted from the said rule.
In this scheme, odd-numbered vehicles will be permitted to ply only on odd-numbered dates and even-number vehicles only on even-numbered days. It is aimed at reducing the number of vehicles as they are seen as major pollutants. The Delhi government is no stranger to implementing this as it has been enforcing it in phases since 2016.
The reintroduction of this rule will be part of a seven-point agenda meant to help curb air pollution in the National Capital Region. Key details of the upcoming phase have not been finalised yet, but it is expected to be based on exact pollution levels in the region. It is also likely that the scheme will not be enforced on weekends and that women drivers will be exempted from the rule.
But all of that said, it must also be mentioned that the implementation of the odd-even rule is not the only way in which the Central Government is planning to battle the rising menace of environmental pollution. The Government is also working on finding a way to finalize the adoption of 50-60 lakh pollution masks, an idea that has been spoken about in the past but hasn’t so far been implemented in the country.