There can be restrictions on the entry of trucks into Delhi, stopping construction activities and possibly introducing the odd-even scheme for private vehicles.
New Delhi: Just into the second week of November, Delhiites are faced with their usual and annual challenge: the air quality index, popularly called AQI. There is a thick haze of toxic smog.
A special panel of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) has already advised people to limit 'outdoor activities' and said the use of vehicles should be “reduced" by at least 30 per cent.
Officials say the air quality index in Delhi has hit this season’s highest figure of 471 on Friday, Nov 12, on a scale of 500, and hence the government and the business establishments and private citizens have been cautioned about the same.
The AQI has reached the upper end of the ‘severe’ category, going by the Central Pollution Control Board. This reading is worse than what was seen on November 5, when an AQI of 462 was recorded in 2020.
Notably, all concerned states and implementing agencies must be in complete readiness to implement measures under the ‘emergency’ category.
'Emergency measures' as the norms go include stopping construction activities and possibly introducing the odd-even scheme for private vehicles.
There can be restrictions on the entry of trucks into Delhi as well.
Sources say AQI was 411 on Nov 11, Thursday but an estimated 4,000 farm fires
have accounted for nearly 35 per cent of Delhi's pollution on Friday.
The concentration of poisonous PM2.5 particulate matter averaged 329 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The government prescribes a "safe" PM2.5 reading at 60 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
There is also a drop in temperature and wind speed. Recently there was yet another concern that a vast stretch of the city's 'famous' Yamuna river was snapped, covered with white toxic foam caused by pollutants discharged from industries.
Needless to add, the 1,376-km Yamuna river provides more than half of New Delhi’s water and hence there is a serious health hazard. It is also among the most polluted rivers.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has recently suggested that a meeting should be convened soon of all Environment Ministers of States neighbouring the national capital to discuss the issue of pollution and stubble burning in surrounding farmlands.