Delhi air pollution: Rain comes as relief; Air Quality Index (AQI) in national capital recorded at 339
New Delhi, November 11: Parts of Delhi-NCR experienced light rainfall on Friday, providing some relief from the escalating air pollution. Despite these efforts and the Delhi government's plan to initiate 'artificial rain' through cloud seeding around November 20, the overall air quality has once again deteriorated to the 'severe' category. According to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital reached 339 at 6 am on Saturday.
In response to the worsening situation, Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) has been activated in Delhi. This decision was made as the city's air quality fell into the 'severe plus' category. The Delhi government has also deployed ministers to oversee the implementation of anti-pollution measures. On Thursday, several ministers were observed inspecting various areas and borders connecting Delhi to neighboring states in an effort to address the critical pollution levels.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai announced on Friday that the proposed implementation of the odd-even car-rationing scheme in the city would be delayed. The decision follows an observed improvement in the pollution level, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) dropping from 450 to around 300. The original plan to enforce odd-even from November 13 to 20 has been postponed, and the situation will be reevaluated after Diwali, according to the Delhi Environment Minister.
This announcement comes after the Supreme Court directed the Delhi government to make a definitive decision on the Odd-Even Scheme. The court opted not to make a decision itself, leaving the matter in the hands of the state government. The odd-even scheme entails allowing cars to operate in the national capital on alternate days based on their odd or even registration numbers.
Truck inspections at Ghazipur and Tikri borders amid anti-pollution measures
In an effort to mitigate the pollution crisis in the national capital and enforce anti-pollution measures, Delhi police conducted inspections of trucks carrying non-essential goods at the Ghazipur and Tikri borders on Friday night, in accordance with GRAP 4 regulations.
During the final stage (Stage IV) of the Centre's action plan, only CNG, electric, and BS VI-compliant vehicles from other states are permitted to enter Delhi, with exemptions for those engaged in essential services.
Visuals from the Ghazipur border depict the police team monitoring trucks entering Delhi, with only CNG and electric trucks granted access. Simultaneously, another team from the Delhi Police, stationed at the Tikri border, examined trucks entering the national capital. This initiative follows a slight improvement in the city's air quality on Friday after intermittent rainfall.
- With inputs from agencies