Delhi breathes easy again, but may choke from Diwali night

07 November, 2018, 05:16 | Author: Patty Aguilar
  • 'Hazardous' air pollution in India's capital prompts emergency measures

Delhi's overall air quality index on Monday was recorded at 434, which falls in the "severe" category, a drastic decline from Sunday's "moderate" level at 171.

Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, the under secretary of state for the environment confirmed in a written statement to the Global Air Pollution conference that her government will start legislation for a new Environment Act by early 2019.

Weathermen have advised caution for residents of Delhi as the city's Air Quality Index (AQI) continue to score below "severe" category after breaching the 400 mark.

In Delhi NCR, the PM2.5 was recorded 237 and PM10 was recorded at 366, the CPCB data said. From Thursday, all construction activities involving excavation and civil construction was ordered to be stopped in Delhi and other NCR districts. "These measures are being introduced keeping in mind the forecast and the need for emergency actions to combat pollution", said Bhure Lal, chairman of EPCA.

Advocate Wasim A Qadri, appearing for the Delhi government, informed a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur, that around 40 lakh vehicles, out of a total of 1.1 crore, had been deregistered in the city. However, even at such trying times, when both the central and state governments are devising plans to curb the problem, environment ministers of four neighbouring states skipped an important meet to discuss Delhi's worsening air pollution.

Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority had issued a notification predicting that air quality between November 1 and 10 will rise to "severe" category.

However, there is a little respite due to increased wind speed, but the air quality still remained "very poor".

Speaking to ANI, Lal said, "We had a meeting with Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal on Monday".

As the spike in air pollution levels left Delhiites breathless, experts have asked people to report violators of pollution norms to authorities and said each citizen can make a difference by minimising the use of private vehicles.

The Delhi government launched an aggressive 10-day "Clean Air Campaign" from November 1 to monitor and report polluting activities and ordered halting of construction activities and regulating vehicular traffic.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee directed the transport department and the traffic police to intensify their drive against polluting vehicles until November 10.

"We have quality filters in place because of which all our classrooms receive treated fresh air throughout the working hours and a professional team is monitoring this", said Deepa Kumar, principal, Heritage Xperiential Learning School, Gurgaon.



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