Delhi’s air quality turned severe on Monday evening as the pollution level increased again due to unfavourable meteorological conditions even as a task force of pollution watchdog the CPCB recommended entry of heavy vehicles into the city and carrying out of construction activities only between 6 am and 6 pm.
The Supreme-Court appointed EPCA also allowed entry of only those vehicles into the city which are stranded at Delhi borders, anticipating the situation getting out of hand with the owners of over a 1,000 trucks getting “restive”, while asserting that they will be exempt from paying toll or Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) from 11 pm on November 12 to 7 am on November 13.
They said by relaxing the payment of toll-ECC, the trucks can move without any stop and this will reduce congestion and reduce pollution. The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), however, stated that “no new trucks” will be allowed to enter the national capital in the wake of the deteriorating air quality.
Here's the air quality index:
As per the figures in the quality index, the air quality of the National Capital is defined as 'Very unhealthy'. Nineteen areas in Delhi were recorded severe air quality while 17 areas showed very poor air quality, the CPCB said, adding Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Greater Noida and Noida recorded severe air quality while Gurgaon showed improvement with the AQI being in the moderate category.
Air quality forecast:
Delhi's air quality is expected to improve from Tuesday, however, the overall index is likely to remain between severe and very poor.
Earlier on Monday, Haryana Chief Secretary DS Dhesi said that it was unfair to blame its farmers for Delhi's poor air quality when farm waste on just 1 per cent of the total area sown with paddy was burnt this year.
"Last year, farm waste was burnt on just 2 percent of the total sown area of paddy, and the figure further fell to 1 percent this year. However, it is being projected as if our farmers are burning farm waste in each and every field," an official release quoted him as saying at an event in Hisar.
Mr Dhesi claimed 'it was unfortunate that rumours were being spread against farmers in the state when they were hardly to blame for Delhi's deteriorating pollution levels'.
(With inputs from PTI)