Ghaziabad and Faridabad, two cities in the National Capital Region (NCR), have been identified as the most polluted cities in Delhi. According to data from Breezometer, the air quality in these cities has reached severe levels. This alarming situation is not limited to Ghaziabad and Faridabad alone, as all major cities in the NCR have registered air quality above 400 on the Air Quality Index (AQI), indicating a severe category.
The AQI ranges from 0 to 500, with values between 0-50 considered good and 401-450 falling into the severe category. Gurugram recorded an AQI of 401, while Noida and Greater Noida reported values of 401 and 487 respectively. The entire Delhi NCR region has been grappling with hazardous pollution levels for the past few days, with a thick layer of smog making it difficult for residents to breathe.
In response to the worsening pollution crisis, the Delhi government has announced the implementation of the Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme from November 13 to November 20. This scheme restricts vehicles with odd and even number plates from plying on alternate days, aiming to reduce traffic congestion and consequently decrease pollution levels. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai emphasized the importance of strict compliance with the ban on firecrackers, as last year witnessed several incidents of burning despite the ban.
Furthermore, the government has imposed a ban on BS-III petrol vehicles and BS-IV diesel vehicles under GRAP-4, except for essential commodities and essential service vehicles. Trucks, with the exception of LNG, CNG, and electric trucks carrying essential goods and services, are prohibited from entering Delhi as well. GRAP-3 exemptions, such as demolition work on flyovers, overbridges, and power transmission pipelines, have now been revoked.
As the pollution crisis continues to plague the region, it is critical to address the issue comprehensively and take appropriate measures to improve air quality. The implementation of schemes like Odd-Even, restrictions on vehicle types, and bans on firecrackers aim to alleviate the hazardous conditions. However, continuous efforts and strict adherence to these measures are crucial to protect the health and well-being of the residents in the Delhi NCR region.