According to the Central Pollution Control Board and SAFAR forecasting agency under the Ministry of Environment, Delhi’s air quality remained “severe,” with stubble burning accounting for 30% of the PM2.5 pollution in the capital.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) for today is 529 in Noida (UP), 478 in Gurugram (Haryana), and 534 close to Dhirpur, all of which fall into the “Severe” category. At 431, Delhi’s overall air quality index falls into the “Severe” category.
Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, and Bhagwant Mann, the chief minister of Punjab, accepted responsibility for the burning of paddy straw in the agricultural state on November 4 and pledged to put an end to the practise by the coming winter.
What is permitted?
1. All CNG and electric trucks will be permitted to enter Delhi, per a Transport Department directive.
2. Vehicles used for emergency and vital services, as well as BS-VI vehicles, are exempt from the ban.
3. Public transportation services will be expanded for the benefit of commuters. Up to 1,000 private CNG contract carriage buses will be rented by the transportation department through DTC for a period of 60 days. It could be prolonged for up to 90 days. 500 buses would be rented in the initial phase, it was said. The strategy will be in effect until the Commission for Air Quality Management issues additional directives.
What is prohibited?
1. The CAQM outlawed the use of four-wheeled diesel light motor vehicles in the districts surrounding Delhi and the NCR.
2. All diesel trucks except those transporting or offering essential services will not be permitted entry into Delhi. Except for those transporting necessary goods or offering vital services, Delhi-registered diesel-powered medium and heavy cargo vehicles would not be permitted to operate in Delhi.
3. According to the Delhi Transport Department’s order, it is also forbidden to operate a BS-III petrol or BS-IV diesel light motor vehicle in any areas governed by the NCT of Delhi. The department also hinted at a fine of 20,000 for anyone who breaks the guidelines.
4. The shutdown of all sectors of the economy that use dirty fuels. However, industries producing life-saving medical equipment or gadgets, medications, and medicines, such as those producing milk and dairy products, shall be free from these limitations.
5. The ban on building and demolishing includes tasks like building roads, flyovers, overhead bridges, pipelines, and power lines.
6. Additionally closed were factories and construction sites.
7. The mandatory work-from-home policy for 50% of Delhi government employees was also announced by Gopal Rai, the city’s environment minister, on November 4.
8. The chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, announced that primary schools would be closed starting today until the city’s air quality improved.
9. Up to eighth grade, schools in Noida have switched to online instruction.
As the final step of a central panel’s anti-pollution action took effect, environmentalists criticised Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan’s measures as “ineffective” and claimed that the ban on diesel light motor vehicles in Delhi-NCR was enacted “a bit too late.” Environmentalist Bhavreen Kandhari claimed it was a little too late to put such safeguards into effect when discussing the execution of the GRAP’s final step.