Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday said the pollution situation of the national capital will be observed for the next two or three days and only then a decision of odd-even or artificial rain would be taken. Two days after Diwali, Delhi’s air quality was in the ‘very poor’ category on Wednesday morning. The situation will not change in the next 2-3 days with minimum wind speed and lower morning temperature. “After 2-3 days, the wind speed may pick up. So it is expected that the situation will be better. We are now monitoring the situation. Tomorrow, we will sit with the scientists and the departments,” Gopal Rai said. If the AQI turns into the ‘severe plus’ category, the government will think of stricter measures like odd-even, the minister said.
Delhi got a brief spell of relief from the choking pollution days before Diwali because of rain, but now air quality has again gone back to worse. “Delhi’s air quality is likely to remain in the ‘very poor’ category from Wednesday till Friday. The outlook for the subsequent six days shows air quality is likely to remain largely in the ‘very poor’ category,” Forecasts by the Early Warning System showed.
The odd-even rule was supposed to be implemented from November 13, but was put on hold after the Supreme Court raised questions over the efficacy of the odd-even scheme which reduces the number of cars on the road as cars with registration numbers ending in odd are allowed to ply on odd dates and same with even.
Earlier, the Delhi government was planning to go for artificial rain in the city through cloud seeding technology before November 20. Gopal Rai held a meeting with the IIT-Kanpur team. However, the nod for this has to come from the Centre. Delhi government would bear the entire cost of the artificial rain, it decided earlier.