November 9th, 2017
The Delhi government today said it will impose the odd-even car rotation scheme from 13-17 November to combat that near deadly smog that has blanketed the capital since Tuesday, Times Of India.
Earlier today, the National Green Tribunal issued a set of directions to the deal with the crisis of immense pollution in the city and the National Capital Region. The directions include banning construction and industrial activities. It also has banned the entry of trucks in the city. The NGT also chided the government and the civic bodies over the worsening air quality in the city.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said yesterday, he had requested counterparts from Punjab and Haryana to hold a meeting to chalk out a practice to stop the practice of burning the remnants of crops. Crop stubble is one of the primary contributors to the smog this week. In fact, the CM of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh and his Delhi counterpart had a spat on Twitter over the burning of crops.
Singh tweeted to say that there is nothing that his government is helpless and it cannot pay the farmers for stubble management.
Previous instances of implementation of odd-even scheme
With air quality index in the national capital and surrounding regions surpassing severe levels, that forced the Indian Medical Association to declare a medical emergency in the state. The call to reintroduce the odd-even rule in the city and the NCR region was taken by Anil Baijlal, Delhi Lieutenant Governor
The odd-even rationing scheme cuts the vehicular traffic by almost half. This scheme has been adopted by the government twice since the AAP came into power. It was implemented twice in 2016, from January 1-15 and April 15-30. But the poor transport facilities, despite Delhi’s vast metro network, was seen as a huge challenge to its implementation and the government later said the odd-even scheme could be put in place if the pollution level stays in the “emergency” area for more than 48 hours.
As the particulate matter in the air went off charts, the Delhi High Court suggested the scheme, if brought back, it could help “unclog the city”. With the levels of carcinogenic gases rising to about ten times in the city than the readings of Beijing, doctors have already called the smog a public health emergency and have advised immediate evacuation. Toxic smog has been a feature of Delhi winters, it has spiralled to a large extent over the last few years.
HC introduces emergency directives
Calling it an “emergency situation”, a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the government to consider the option of “cloud seeding” to induce rainfall artificially, as an immediate step to bring down the dust and particulate matter in the atmosphere.
It directed the Delhi government to seriously consider a ban on further construction in the city to the extent possible and implementing the ‘odd-even’ vehicle usage scheme as a short-term measure.
The Logical Indian Take
The Logical Indian community supports the government in taking up the decision of reinforcing the odd-even rule in the city. This will surely keep some vehicles off the roads and it will positively contribute towards bringing the severe levels of pollution down. The Logical Indian community urges Delhiites to take precautionary measures. Air pollution masks should be worn by all motorists and pedestrians and those with asthmatic conditions should refrain from stepping out.