New Delhi: In response to the alarming deterioration of air quality in Delhi, the state government has introduced the odd-even vehicle system. This initiative permits vehicles with odd-numbered plates to operate on odd dates and those with even-numbered registrations to ply on alternate days.
The decision was formally announced by Delhi Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, following an emergency meeting convened by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The move comes in light of pollution levels in the Delhi-NCR region, which exceeded government-prescribed safe limits by seven to eight times on Monday morning.
Minister Rai has also hinted at the possibility of implementing a work-from-home system for 50 percent of government and private office staff, with a decision to be made at a later date.
Furthermore, the state government has taken a proactive step to safeguard the well-being of schoolchildren by suspending in-person classes in all schools, except for students in grades X and XII who are preparing for board exams.
To combat the escalating air quality crisis, Delhi has initiated GRAP-4, which restricts entry into the city to only CNG, electric, and BS VI-compliant vehicles from other states. Exemptions will be granted exclusively to individuals engaged in essential services. In addition, all medium and heavy goods vehicles not involved in essential services have been banned in the capital, as per the latest directive from the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).
According to a 2018 study conducted by The Energy and Resources Institute, vehicular emissions are responsible for approximately 40 percent of the PM 2.5 pollution in the national capital.