Arvind Kejriwal said Delhi's air quality is expected to improve in the next two days (Photo Credit: PTI File)
As Delhi air quality remained between 'severe' and 'severe-plus' catergories, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the decision on whether to extend the Odd-Even scheme will taken on November 18. The odd-even car rationing scheme is ending on November 15 i.e Friday. Kejriwal was addressing a press conference, a day after saying the odd-even scheme could be extended beyond November 15 "if the need arises". Kejriwal said that Delhi government has been informed that Delhi's air quality is expected to improve in the next two days with favourable weather. However, if the condition does not improve in these two days, a decision will taken on extending the scheme further.
“There is no extension of odd-even for now. We are watching the situation. If there is improvement in wind speed, there will be no odd-even. The government will take a final call on Monday after monitoring the situation for two more days,” the CM said.
On Friday, people in Delhi-NCR woke up to thick blanket of smog for the fifth consecutive day with air quality in several areas dipping to ‘severe-plus’ pollution levels.
At 7 am, the air quality in several areas of the Delhi and NCR, including Pusa Road (777), Dwarka Sector 8 (930), Pragati Vihar (733), Anand Vihar (535), Noida Sector 125 (665), Noida Sector 62 (538), US Embassy in Chanakyapuri (660), Jahagirpuri (610), Narela (808), Bawana (865), Okhla (722), Satyawati College in Ashok Vihar (757), Sonia Vihar (565), Alipur (644), Sri Aurobindo Marg (733), Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business in Rohini (765) and Patparganj (571) crossed the 'severe-plus' category.
According to Ministry of Earth Science-backed System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the AQI level in and around Delhi was in emergency zone. According to the CPCB, another government agency, Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad breathed very poor air with the AQI hovering at 478. Greater Noida was shade better at 460.
Apart from temperature, another key factor is wind velocity. As the experts say, the low surface wind is dense and carry more pollutants. The only hope for people of Delhi is either a brief spell of rain or high-speed winds, which can clear the sky. According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, Delhi’s annual average PM 2.5 (particulate matter of 2.5 micron size) last year was 115 microgram per cubic metre while the WHO recommends this be kept under 10 micrograms per cubic metre.