The Battle for Clean Air in Delhi: Unusual Steps Ahead as the Pollution Crisis Gets Worse

The minister for environment, Gopal Rai, has said the odd-even car scheme shall be considered if the pollution worsens in Delhi. Delhi’s Air Quality Index was 471 at 9 am on Friday, classified as severe plus air quality. Some anti-air pollution measures include banning unnecessary construction work as well as limiting BS-3 petrol and BS-4 diesel cars.

Minister Gopal Rai admitted that to exterminate all pollution in Delhi was absurd. He said that, the pollution of Delhi is twice as strong as in the interior, due to the outdoor pollution. The problem of air quality has not been addressed, especially that it is worst during the first week of November due to weather and other factors.

Rai stated that at least 109 days had clean air in Delhi, in the year 2015. There were over 200 good air quality days this year, more than what was noted last year (163). Nevertheless, the onset of first week of November is important for air quality management because as the weather deteriorates, it further increases pollution.

Shortly after closing all elementary schools in Delhi on Friday and Saturday, the administration addressed the problem. It was due to Thursday air quality was worse. The Supreme Court has given these powers to CAQM, and the government is taking a cue. However, if the situation gets worse, more steps will follow when talking to the right people.

Delhi-NCR residents want to breathe fresh air as recent thick pollutions. The daytime temperature is rising. In October 2023, only 5.4mm of rain was recorded compared to 129mm in 2022 and 123mm in 2021. Pollution is exacerbated in the inversion of temperature, which keeps the pollutants near the ground. However, cold and heavy air near the surface prevents the air pollutants from rising.

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