The Delhi government has decided to defer the implementation of the odd-even car rationing scheme, originally scheduled from November 13 to November 20, following a substantial improvement in the city’s air quality attributed to recent rainfall.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai made this announcement on Friday during a press conference. He revealed that the decision to postpone the odd-even plan was influenced by the Air Quality Index (AQI) dropping from 450+ to around 300.
Addressing the media, Rai said, “The AQI which was 450+ has now reached around 300. The decision to implement odd-even from November 13 to 20 has been postponed. The situation would be analyzed again after Diwali.” He emphasized that a reassessment of the air quality post-Diwali would determine whether the odd-even scheme might be enforced in the event of a sudden decline in air quality.
Rai had previously said that the implementation of the odd-even plan would follow a review by the Supreme Court and its subsequent directive on its effectiveness.
This decision comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s scrutiny on Tuesday, questioning the efficacy of Delhi’s car-rationing scheme and dismissing it as mere “optics” in the battle against air pollution.
In anticipation of potential worsening air quality post-Diwali, Rai had initially announced on Monday that the odd-even scheme, where cars operate on alternate days based on the odd or even last digit of their registration numbers, would be enforced from November 13 to November 20.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a further improvement in air quality, thanks to favorable wind speeds that facilitate the dispersion of pollutants.