Delhi braces for 10­-day air pollution emergency

Measures that would be rolled out between November 1 and November 10 include shut down of Mundka industrial area, ban on construction and excavation (digging) activities, shutting down of industries that run on coal and biomass, ban on stone crushers, brick kilns and hot mix plants

Hindustan Times, Nov 01, 2018, New Delhi

Pre-emptive measures to contain air pollution, which is likely to worsen in the next 10 days, may force a partial shutdown of the national capital between November 1 and November 10. The measures the authorities will enforce include ban on construction activities and shut down of at least one industrial area for the next 10 days.

The Supreme Court-appointed body Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has also warned that it could even ban private vehicles or introduce odd and even road rationing measures in the coming days after consulting the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) task force.

“These measures are pre-emptive and go beyond what is stipulated in the Grap. 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.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) value, which had breached ‘severe’ levels of air pollution on Tuesday, improved slightly and came down to ‘very poor’ levels, but pollution levels could shoot up sharply because of unfavourable weather conditions.

Measures that would be rolled out between November 1 and November 10 include shut down of Mundka industrial area, ban on construction and excavation (digging) activities, shutting down of industries that run on coal and biomass, ban on stone crushers, brick kilns and hot mix plants. Diesel generators have already been banned and Badarpur power plant has been shut down since October 15, when the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap) came into force.

The CPCB has started Facebook and Twitter accounts where residents can lodge complaints pertaining to garbage burning, unpaved roads etc. The government has cancelled leaves of environment department officials.

The Delhi Metro has already introduced 21 additional trains that would provide 812 additional trips. The civic agencies are, however, yet to increase parking fees, a measure listed under Grap, even though air quality has been in very poor category for more than a week now. The transport department has also not introduced any extra buses to increase availability of public transport.


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