New Delhi, Apr 19: The fifth day of the odd-even scheme, enforced to tackle Delhi's notorious pollution, saw a spike in the level of pollutants turning the city's air quality 'very poor' and traffic congestion at many places adding to woes of people.
In a related development, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made it clear that inclusion of two-wheelers in the odd-even scheme without improving the public transport system will lead to "chaos" and "complete anarchy".
As per Centre's SAFAR, eight-hour average of Ozone, a gaseous pollutant, rose above 50 parts per billion (ppb), and touched the 'moderate' category for the first time since April 14.
The government claimed that inner areas of the capital have witnessed "less pollution" compared to border areas, where its level has "significantly increased".
"In border areas, PM 2.5 was recorded three times more. At Noida border, PM 2.5 was recorded at 115 micro grams per cubic metre while in Wazirabad, it was registered at 142 micro grams per cubic metre," Transport Minister Gopal Rai said.
The safe limits of PM 2.5 and PM 10, fine respirable pollutants that harm the respiratory system, are 60 and 100 micro grams per cubic metre respectively. The average levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 was recorded at 124 and 275 micro grams per cubic metre by SAFAR which results in respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.
Asked about reports of congestion in many parts of the city, government claimed it was being caused by construction work carried out by agencies such as Delhi Metro, Delhi Jal Board and PWD. The number of challans for violation of the scheme also came down to 579 as opposed to yesterday's 710.
April 15, the first day of the second phase of implementation of the road-rationing scheme had seen a total of 1,311 challans. Delhi Traffic Police challaned 207 violators while Transport department and district administration teams issued challans to 372 violators for driving even-numbered vehicles on what was an odd date.
Delhi Metro registered a slight drop in ridership against yesterday's figures.
"Ridership till 8 PM was 21,86,502 while yesterday it was 22,73,645."
Rai directed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Public Works Department (PWD) and DJB to carry out construction and repair works at night during the ongoing phase of the scheme which ends on April 30.
"Some people are saying that there have been traffic jams on roads during odd-even scheme. But as per our study, construction and repair works, which are being done by various agencies during day hours, are contributing significantly to road congestion," he told reporters.