Advertisement
Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Public Health Emergency Declared In Delhi By EPCA, Construction Banned Till Nov 5

The air quality in Delhi-NCR deteriorated further Thursday night and is now at the severe plus level or emergency level.

Public Health Emergency Declared In Delhi By EPCA, Construction Banned Till Nov 5
| File Photo
Public Health Emergency Declared In Delhi By EPCA, Construction Banned Till Nov 5
outlookindia.com
2019-11-01T14:13:49+05:30

A Supreme Court-mandated panel on Friday declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region and banned construction activity till November 5.

As pollution level in the region entered the "severe plus" category, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority also banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season.

The air quality in Delhi-NCR deteriorated further Thursday night and is now at the severe plus level, EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal said in a letter to the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.

Also Read: Kejriwal Urges Punjab, Haryana To Stop Delhi From Becoming 'Gas Chamber'

"We have to take this as a public health emergency as air pollution will have adverse health impact on all, particularly our children," he said in the letter.

Under these circumstances, he said, construction activities, hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida will remain closed till the morning of November 5.

In view of the hazardous pollution levels in the national capital, doctors advised people to take a lot of precautions, including wearing face masks and avoiding early morning and late evening walks as the concentration of pollutants is at its highest during this period.

Calling the national capital a "gas chamber" Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Friday blamed the government of Haryana and Punjab for failing to stop stubble burning in their respective states. He pegged farm fires as the major cause of Delhi's rising pollution level.

To effectively tackle the menace of pollution, the government has started distributing 50 lakh N95 masks, considered one of the good quality masks for tackling smog, among school students in Delhi on Friday morning.

The blanket of haze over Delhi thickened on Friday morning with the national capital's pollution levels increasing overnight.

According to official data, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) on Friday was 582 at 12.30 am for Delhi-NCR.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered 'good', 51-100 'satisfactory', 101-200 'moderate', 201-300 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. Above 500 falls in the 'severe-plus emergency' category. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and health concerns.

The AQI takes into account five chief pollutants -- particulate matter with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres (PM10), PM2.5, ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO).

Earlier, the EPCA had banned construction activities only for the period between 6 pm and 10 am till November 2. Now, no construction can take place even in daytime.

EPCA directed that all coal and other fuel-based industries, which have not shifted to natural gas or agro-residue, will remain shut in Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bahadurgarh, Bhiwadi, Greater Noida, Sonepat, Panipat till the morning of November 5.

In Delhi, industries, which have not yet shifted to piped natural gas, will not operate during the period, it said.

"Cracker burning is completely banned for the entire winter period. We note that there are festivals coming and given the experience of Diwali, when in spite of all efforts, cracker burning was extremely high and led to the accumulation of toxins in the air, this measure is needed," Bhure Lal said.

He also said that it is imperative that implementing agencies take urgent steps to stop local sources of pollution, as this will only add to the already polluted air.

"This requires stringent vigilance and punitive action against all cases of local pollution, from plastic and garbage burning to dust pollution. I am also constrained to say that in spite of all our efforts, there are still many instances of local pollution and therefore, enforcement needs to be stepped up further," he said.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Why PM Modi's US Visit Holds Key To India's Strategy On China, Afghanistan

Why PM Modi's US Visit Holds Key To India's Strategy On China, Afghanistan

Apart from in-person meetings with Joe Biden and Kamala Haris, PM Modi will address the UNGA and Quad summits and may share India's concerns on use of Afghanistan as a terror hub.

SAARC Summit Stands Cancelled As Pakistan Insists Taliban's Participation

SAARC Summit Stands Cancelled As Pakistan Insists Taliban's Participation

Lack of concurrence has been cited by the sources as the reason behind the cancellation as India along with some other members expressed dissent to the proposal.

Historical Blunders! KL Rahul Crestfallen After PBKS Gift Tie To RR

Historical Blunders! KL Rahul Crestfallen After PBKS Gift Tie To RR

KL Rahul said Punjab Kings 'haven't learnt from previous mistakes' after his team gifted the match to Rajasthan Royals.

Munna Bhais Still Flying High In High-Profile Entrance Examinations

Munna Bhais Still Flying High In High-Profile Entrance Examinations

Experts believe the swindlers have taken control of the entire system and they are doing so without any fear. They suspect one can get 99.5% only if one gets the question paper in advance.

Advertisement