New Delhi: With the air quality deteriorating to 'severe' category in the national capital, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday hinted at extending the odd-even road rationing scheme that is operational in the city.

"If required, we can extend the odd-even scheme," Kejriwal told reporters when asked about the initiative being given a likely extension in view of the rising air pollution in Delhi. The overall air quality index (AQI) in Delhi and NCR region today entered the 'severe' category again with not much improvement expected for the next two days. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality of the national capital docked at 472 as of 3:30 pm.

Due to the current condition, poor visibility and severe pollution level, the Delhi administration has declared holiday for schools and colleges for two days.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is not seen speaking about other methods to tackle pollution. As many leaders have spoken out, will the odd-even scheme take care of the problem and bring Delhi back as a safer place to breath clean air?

In an attempt to reduce traffic congestion and tackle pollution, the odd-even scheme began in the national capital from November 4 and will go on till November 15. The initiative is applicable from 8 am to 8 pm. It was not applicable on November 10, Sunday.

The road rationing scheme prohibits plying of private vehicles based on the last digit of their registration numbers. Vehicles with even digits are only allowed to ply on even days, and those with odd numbers on odd days.

Electric vehicles, two-wheelers, women-only vehicles with children aged up to 12 years, vehicles occupied by physically-disabled persons and those belonging to VVIPs, including the President and Prime Minister, are exempted from the scheme.

This is the third edition of the odd-even restrictions on private vehicles in Delhi. The first two versions of the initiative were introduced in 2016.

Kejriwal has repeatedly blamed both Haryana and Punjab governments for the noxious smog that has enveloped Delhi and its adjoining regions as a result of the burning of crop residue in the two states.

(With ANI inputs)