Delhi woke up to ‘severe’ air quality on Tuesday under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels breached the permissible standards by multiple times. The rapid fall in air quality and visibility began last evening itself as moisture combined with pollutants shrouded the city in a thick cover of haze. By 10 am today, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded ‘severe’ air quality, meaning the intensity of pollution was extreme.
As per Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, wind from neighbouring Haryana and Punjab, where paddy stubble burning is in full swing, had started entering the city during the afternoon hours. The CPCB also recorded ‘severe’ air quality in the neighbouring Noida and Ghaziabad. The real-time pollution monitors displayed alarmingly high concentration of PM2.5 and PM10, which are ultrafine particulates having the ability to enter the respiratory system and subsequently the bloodstream of humans and animals, causing harm.
In light of the sudden dip in air quality, the Environmental Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) announced a raft of measures to bring down pollution levels in the NCR.
Here are the measures recommended by the EPCA:
1. Parking fees in Delhi-NCR be quadrupled.
2. The pollution control body instructed the Delhi Metro to lower fares during off-peak hours for at least 10 days, introduce more coaches.
3. The EPCA recommended a fine of Rs 50,000 to be imposed on road construction agencies violating dust pollution norms in Delhi-NCR.
4. It also told the Delhi-NCR govts to start preparing for measures like odd-even and ban on construction if pollution aggravates.
(With PTI inputs)