As of 08:00 (local time) on Monday, November 4, transport authorities in New Delhi have implemented an odd-even road rationing scheme aimed at improving the poor air quality. The measure is in place from 08:00 to 20:00 every day until at least Friday, November 15. Private four-wheeled vehicles with registration numbers ending in an odd digit will not be allowed on roads on November 4, 6, 8, 12, and 14. Similarly, vehicles with registration numbers ending in an even digit will not be allowed on roads on November 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15. Two-wheelers and electric vehicles are exempt from the restrictions, however, CNG-driven vehicles are not. Approximately 5000 civil defense volunteers are deployed across the capital to assist traffic police in implementing the odd-even scheme.
At least 37 flights to and from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) were diverted on Sunday, November 3, due to visibility problems associated with the high level of pollution in New Delhi. Major airlines have warned of possible delays and cancelations at DEL over the near term.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was at 528 at noon on Monday. Health officials predict an improvement in air quality on Monday, as winds are expected to sweep across New Delhi and aid the dispersal of pollutants. However, all polluting activities have been banned in the area until Tuesday, November 5.
A heightened traffic security presence and transportation disruptions, including an increased demand for alternative means of transport, are expected in the coming days and weeks. The smog is expected to significantly hamper outdoor activity over the coming days, even as pollution levels are forecast to gradually decrease.
Health officials on Friday, November 1, declared a public health emergency due to the "Severe+" level of air pollution in New Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
Individuals present in New Delhi and the National Capital Region are advised to monitor the situation, limit outdoor activities until the situation normalizes, and wear N95 rated masks as a protection. Children and those with chronic respiratory illnesses should exercise increased caution. Individuals are advised to seek medical attention if experiencing breathing difficulties or other health concerns.
Individuals flying via DEL are advised to monitor the situation, confirm flight reservations, and anticipate flight disruptions, such as delays and cancelations.
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