The air quality in Delhi continues to be in the ‘severe’ category, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at over 450 in some locations this morning. Some of the worst affected areas are RK Puram (453), Punjabi Bagh (444), ITO (441) and Anand Vihar (432).
The national capital remained shrouded in a blanket of toxic smog, prompting doctors to raise concerns about the growing number of respiratory and eye ailments among children and the elderly.
To combat the escalating air pollution crisis, the Supreme Court has proposed that the Delhi government consider prohibiting app-based taxis registered in other states from operating within the national capital. Delhi’s Transport Minister Gopal Rai has responded to this suggestion by affirming that his department has been tasked with implementing the court’s recommendation.
Uber, an app-based taxi service, has stated that it has not been officially informed about this proposal by the Delhi transport department.
“We may also note that there is a large number of app-based taxis in Delhi which have registrations in different states. If we look at the roads, each one is carrying only one passenger. We would like to know whether there is any way of monitoring, especially during this period of time, that only the taxis registered in Delhi are permitted to ply as an additional measure to control the pollution,” the Supreme Court order read.
The Delhi government has decided to reschedule the winter break for all schools in the national capital in light of the deteriorating air quality. The winter break was initially planned to start in December, but it will now commence on November 9 and continue until November 18.
Delhi’s odd-even car rationing scheme also hangs in the balance, awaiting the Supreme Court’s assessment of its effectiveness. This announcement comes from a recent statement made by the Delhi government. The matter is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow.
The Supreme Court questioned the efficacy of odd-even car rationing schemes, dismissing them as “mere optics” lacking substance.
“We may also note that there is a large number of the App based taxis in Delhi which have registrations in different States. If we look at the roads, each one is carrying only one passenger,” the court had said, asking the state if it could stop it as an additional step to control pollution.
Delhi-NCR’s air quality plummeted over the past week due to falling temperatures, stagnant winds that stifled pollution dispersion, and a surge in post-harvest paddy stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.
Delhi’s air quality is one of the worst among capital cities globally, with a University of Chicago report finding that air pollution reduces life expectancy by almost 12 years.