A day after the Delhi High Court observed that the current air pollution levels in the national capital were akin to “living in a gas chamber”, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, Friday, announced stringent measures to bring the situation under control.
The biggest of the proposed measures is that vehicles with odd and even registration numbers will be allowed on alternate days from January 01, 2016.
While exact details are awaited, it may mean that if your car’s number is 8454, you may be allowed to take it out for a drive only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday every week.
Importantly, the restriction won’t apply to public vehicles. And, vehicles registered in other states will also be covered under the ambit of the new law, at least for now.
In another major plan, the Badarpur thermal power plant will be closed. Also, trucks will be allowed to enter the city only after 11 pm every night.
The urgent action was necessitated after quality of air in Delhi, going through one of its worst smog spells this season, largely fell in the ‘very poor’ category as per the National Air Quality Index. Area like Anand Vihar in East Delhi has even earned the most polluted place in India, if not the world.
The even-odd system proposed by the Kejirwal government is not a novel idea as such systems are already in cities like Beijing and Singapore. London too has a similar system for vehicles entering Central London.
However, considering the poor public transport network in the national capital region – especially last mile connectivity – it remains to be seen whether the Delhi government is able to enforce the stringent new law.