Asserting that the alarming air pollution has become an epidemic in Delhi, Indian Medical Association (IMA) president K.K. Aggarwal on Monday called on Delhiites to stay indoors while adding that the particulate matter 10 (pm) and 2.5 has crossed 600 which is hazardous for the people. “We are now calling this as a pollution epidemic. Our advisory to people is to stay at home, if possible work from home and avoid stepping outside the house,”Aggarwal pointed out that the Delhi Government should need to step in and cap pollution masks which are now selling like hot cakes among.
“These masks which used to sell at Rs. 30 are now selling at Rs.1000, so there needs to be capping, At best it can be sold at Rs.40 but not at Rs.2500. Hence the Delhi government should act immediately.”
Aggarwal further called on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to take concrete steps on vehicular pollution.
“They have not taken any concrete action on vehicular pollution. Benzene and Carbon Monoxide are all time high this. Hence we need to check vehicular pollution,” Aggarwal added.
The Centre will Monday convene an emergency meeting of Environment Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to tackle the alarming level of pollution in Delhi.
Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave will chair the meeting to chalk out an action plan to control the rising pollution levels.
Talking to media in New Delhi yesterday, Dave said that no one should indulge in a political blame-game to fight pollution in the national capital.
He appealed for a united response to tackle the problem. He said that the ISRO images show that the role of neighbouring states and their contribution is only 20 percent and blaming them would not work.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Government has decided to close all schools for the next three days and shut down all constructions and demolitions for five days.
Addressing media after holding a Cabinet meeting to discuss the issue yesterday afternoon, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he won’t point fingers at anyone and stressed on the need to sit down and come out with a solution.
He sought the Centre’s support, saying the Delhi Cabinet has discussed about artificial rain. He said, emergency measures are the need of the hour instead of politicising the Delhi’s pollution issue.
The Delhi Government has announced several emergency measures to tackle the unprecedented level of pollution plaguing Delhi and the NCR.
Water sprinkling on roads will begin tomorrow and vacuum cleaning measures to deal with dust pollution will start next week.
Badarpur thermal power plant will be closed for ten days from Monday. Landfill sites fire will be extinguished and transportation of fly ash will be stopped for 10 days. City government is also planning to bring back Odd Even scheme soon and preparations are already on.
The MeT department has forecast little improvement in the current weather condition for the next three days.
Cases of respiratory problems have risen in the city with people rushing to medical stored to buy air masks.