Delhi air pollution: CPCB-led task force recommends closure of industries at hotspots, bar on construction till Wednesday
Delhi's air quality remained in the 'severe' level for the third consecutive day on Monday as wind speed and other meteorological factors remained 'highly unfavourable' for dispersion of pollutants.
New Delhi: A Central Pollution Control Board-led task force Monday recommended a closure of factories located in hotspot industrial areas and a ban on construction activities till Wednesday in view of the severe air pollution in the national capital.
Delhi's air quality remained in the 'severe' level for the third consecutive day on Monday as wind speed and other meteorological factors remained "highly unfavourable" for dispersion of pollutants. People have been advised by the authorities to minimise outdoor activities and avoid use of private vehicles as the city battles its worst pollution levels since Diwali.
The CPCB has recommended to the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to shut down industries located in the hotspot industrial areas of Wazirpur, Mundka, Narela, Bawana, Sahibabad and Faridabad until Wednesday.
It also recommended a ban on construction activities in Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Noida during the same period. The CPCB added that the traffic police should deploy special teams to ensure smooth vehicular movement, especially in identified high traffic corridors. "Police department concerned to strictly ensure that non-destined heavy duty vehicles travel through eastern and western peripheral expressways. Agencies concerned to ensure strict action against illegal industries," the CPCB-led task force said.
On Saturday, the task force had recommended that authorities intensify ground actions to enforce measures already in place, particularly to control emissions from vehicles and burning of biomass. The other recommendations made are: agencies concerned to increase surveillance to find industrial waste dumping or burning especially in hotspots that are vulnerable to high pollution level, water sprinkling and mechanized sweeping to be intensified and traffic police to ensure smooth flow of traffic, including during long holidays.
The task force also urged people to avoid using private vehicles particularly diesel vehicles and minimize outdoor exposure for next three to five days, especially for those with respiratory illness, the CPCB said. On Monday, 32 areas of the national capital recorded 'severe' air quality, while five areas recorded air of 'very poor' quality, according to the CPCB.
In NCR, Noida recorded the worst air quality with an AQI of 464. Faridabad and Ghaziabad also recorded 'severe' quality air, it said.The overall PM2.5 level (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre) was recorded at 369 and the PM10 level at 533 here, the CPCB said. Delhi's air quality turned 'severe' on Saturday. On Sunday, the city recorded its second highest pollution level of the year at an AQI of 450.
According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), the air quality is likely to improve on Tuesday but will remain in the upper end of the 'very poor' or in the 'severe' category. "The wind speed and ventilation index are highly unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants," it said.
Ventilation index is the speed at which pollutants can get dispersed. A ventilation index lower than 6,000 sqm/second with an average wind speed less than 10 kmph is unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants. The index was 4,500 sqm/second on Monday, the IITM said.
To combat pollution, the Delhi government had on Wednesday issued 10 directions, including a ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items in the city and closure of schools and colleges till further orders
Government office employees were asked to operate from home (WFH) at 100 percent capacity for a week, while private offices were issued an advisory to go for WFH (work from home) option as much as possible
Data from the Central Pollution Control Board revealed that Delhi's air quality in November was the worst for the month in seven years