The Blanket of Haze over Delhi thickened on Friday morning with the national capital’s pollution level increasing overnight.
A Supreme Court-mandated panel declares a public health emergency in Delhi Friday as the Air Quality Index hit the 500-mark in respective positions, and hovered close in many other fields. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also announced schools in the capital would be shut till November 5.
The Government as well decided to stagger working hours of its positions during the implementation of the 12-day odd-even scheme, from November 4.
Environmental pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) also puts a complete construction ban till November 5 in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, and Greater Noida along with a prohibition on the bursting of firecrackers during the wintertime season.
EPCA chairman Bhure Lal, who wrote to the four NCR states as the pollution levels in the region entered the season’s worst in the ‘severe plus’ category. And he also said under these circumstances, hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, and Greater Noida will remain closed till the morning of November 5.
Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) on Friday, according to CPCB, was at 484-the highest this season. The previous high in 2019 was on January 3 when the AQI stood at 444. On November 9, 2017, the index touched 486, while on November 6, 2016, it had recorded an all-time high of 497.
In terms of NCR, Noida had the toughest air quality in the entire rural area with an AQI of 500, followed by Ghaziabad and Greater Noida, both at 496, Faridabad at 479 and Gurgaon in 469.
In the first situation, the EPCA had banned construction activities only for the period between 6 pm and 10 am till November 2. At present, no construction can take place even in the daytime.
EPCA directed that all coal and other fuel-based industries, which have not switched to natural gas or agro-residue, will remain shut in Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bahadurgarh, Bhiwadi, Greater Noida, Sonepat, and Panipat till the dawn of November 5.
In Delhi, industries, which have not even shifted to piped natural gas, will not operate during the period, it alleged.
“Cracker burning is completely cast out for the entire winter period. We observe that there are festivals coming and made the experience of Diwali, when in spite of all efforts, cracker burning was extremely high and led to the accumulation of toxins in the breeze, this meter is required,” Bhure Lal said.
He also stated that it is imperative that implementing agencies take urgent steps to stop local sources of pollution, as this will simply add to the already polluted air.
“This requires stringent vigilance and punitive action against all cases of local pollution, from plastic and garbage burning to dust contamination. I am also constrained to state that in spite of all our efforts, there are yet many cases of local pollution and therefore, enforcement needs to be stepped up further.” He stated.
Tags : Pollution , Delhi , EPCA