‘Odd-Even Scheme May Not Be the Solution to Air Pollution’: SC
Earlier last week, the EPCA had declared a public health emergency in Delhi NCR region.
Air quality in the Delhi-NCR region remained ‘severe’ on Friday, 15 November, for the fourth consecutive day. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said a final call on extending the odd-even scheme would be taken on Monday.
The Delhi High Court, on Thursday, while hearing a suo-moto petition on air pollution in Delhi, pulled up Delhi Government departments and other concerned authorities over the hazardous level of air pollution in the city.
Calling the odd-eve scheme "half-baked," the apex court said it might not be the solution to control the deteriorating air quality in Delhi.
- Schools reopened in Delhi NCR on Wednesday after being shut due to pollution
- The odd-even road space rationing scheme started in Delhi on 4 November will continue for the next two weeks till 15 November
- Delhi’s air quality on 1 November reached ‘emergency’ category for the first time since January
- Delhi govt has procured 50 lakh N95 masks for distribution among all schoolchildren in the state
- An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’, while the AQI above 500 falls in ‘severe plus’
Smoke From Stubble Burning Causing Pollution in Delhi, Kejriwal Tells Children
CM Kejriwal on Friday told school children in the city that smoke emanating from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana was causing air pollution in Delhi and asked them to write letters to chief ministers of the two states urging them to control it.
Kejriwal distributed masks to school children as part of the government's initiative to protect them from pollution and also explained children about stubble burning. The Delhi government has procured 50 lakh N95 masks for distribution among children in private and government schools.
All Schools in Delhi to Remain Closed Till 5 November
All schools in Delhi will remain closed till 5 November, following rise in pollution levels due to stubble burning, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced on Friday, 1 November.
"In the wake of rising level of pollution caused by stubble burning, the Delhi government has decided to shut schools till November 5," Kejriwal tweeted.
Earlier on Friday, the education department of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation ordered the closure of 581 schools under the civic body on 4 November due to "prevailing poor air quality".
EPCA Asks for Advisory to Be Issued for People to Minimise Exposure to Pollution
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority on Friday asked public authorities to issue advisories asking people to minimise their personal exposure to pollution as far as possible.
The blanket of haze over Delhi thickened on Friday morning with the national capital's pollution levels increasing overnight. A Central Pollution Control Board official said the AQI entered the "severe plus" or "emergency" category late Thursday night, the first time since January this year.
EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal said pollution touched "severe plus" levels early on Friday morning but came back to "severe" category later.
According to official data, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 1 pm on Friday was recorded at 480, which falls in the "severe" category.
Want Specific Timelines on Stubble Burning: CM Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressing a press conference on Friday, 1 November, said he wants specific timelines from the Punjab, Haryana and Central governments, on when they will put an end to stubble burning.
The CM said that the odd-even scheme is coming into effect from Monday and, in light of that, government offices will have staggered opening times; either 9:30 am or 10:30 am.
He added that 50 lakh masks would be distributed to the people of Delhi, as an emergency measure.
“I went to a school today and when I asked, only 15 to 20 percent children said they burst crackers. It is extremely unfortunate that on social media some opposition leaders were inciting children to burst more crackers,” he said.
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8:59 AM, 01 NovSmoke From Stubble Burning Causing Pollution in Delhi, Kejriwal Tells Children
9:24 AM, 01 NovAll Schools in Delhi to Remain Closed Till 5 November
9:28 AM, 01 NovEPCA Asks for Advisory to Be Issued for People to Minimise Exposure to Pollution
12:11 PM, 01 NovWant Specific Timelines on Stubble Burning: CM Kejriwal