As the air quality is predicted to further deteriorate in the national capital, schools in Delhi-NCR have been ordered to remain shut for the next two days. The Environment Pollution Prevention And Control Authority (EPCA) has also asked industries not running on clean fuel to remain shut till November 15. This includes industrial plants using coal and other such fuels, hot mix plants, etc.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the odd-even scheme may be extended if the need arises. His statement came on a day when the Supreme Court asked the Delhi government and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to provide Air Quality Index (AQI) data from October till November 14 this year.
The national capital continues to reel under heavy pollution today as the noxious smog resulting from raging farm fires and unfavorable weather pushed the situation in the region towards "emergency" zone for the third time in the last 15 days.
Meanwhile, the apex court also issued a notice to the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on a plea challenging the ongoing odd-even road rationing scheme.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta also asked the Delhi government to provide the pollution data from October 1 to December 31, 2018. According to the petition, which was filed by a Noida-based advocate, the Delhi government's November 1 notification on the scheme also violates fundamental rights.
The petition alleged that the odd-even rule violates citizens' rights to practice any profession, carry out any occupation, trade or business and to move freely throughout the country. This year, the scheme came into effect on November 4 and will continue till November 15.
The air quality plummetted to ‘severe’ category yet again on Wednesday. A thick blanket of haze has engulfed the city as the air quality index (AQI) stood at hazardous levels of 467 at 8 am, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).