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13 July, 2024
 
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New Delhi shuts schools, imposes driving restrictions in pollution crisis

India's capital battles severe air pollution

Source: Sky News

India's capital is bringing in odd-even vehicle number plate restrictions to curb air pollution.

The move means private vehicles with odd number plates will be allowed on roads on odd dates, while vehicles with even number plates will be allowed on roads on alternate days.

The restrictions will be in force from 13 November to 20 November.

It follows a government enforced fine of 20,000 rupees (£197) for drivers who are caught using diesel or old petrol vehicles.

It also comes while air quality in the city remains at a "severe" level.

As a result, officials have said primary schools in the capital will remain shut until 10 November.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) - an indicator developed by government agencies - was 36 times above the World Health Organisation guideline value at the beginning of the week, making it "very unhealthy".

In comparison, on the same day, levels in London were "good".

Pollution levels in New Delhi often worsen during November, when calm winds and low temperatures trap pollutants emitted from various sources, including vehicles and dust.

It is not the first time the odd-even scheme has been implemented in New Delhi, which is often ranked among the world's most polluted cities.

In 2019 the same rules were put into force for two weeks, and before that, the initiative proved successful, having cut the number of private vehicles on the roads by almost 1.5 million cars.

Previously, ride-hailing services have been exempt from the rule and both Uber and Ola did not impose surge pricing for the duration of the scheme.

Similar restrictions have also previously been tried in Beijing, Paris, the Colombian capital Bogota, the Chilean capital Santiago and Brazil's largest city Sao Paulo.

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Cyprus  |  pollution  |  India  |  road

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