NEW DELHI, Nov. 3, 2023 (TBINN)
Delhi-N.C.R.’s air-quality neared the emergency threshold on Thursday, prompting an immediate ban on non-essential construction work and the closure of primary schools in the National Capital, as authorities acted swiftly to address the health-threatening pollution.
As a dense and pungent haze blanketed the skyline of Delhi-N.C.R., the concentration of P.M.2.5, fine particulate matter that can penetrate deep into the respiratory system and trigger health problems, exceeded the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre by a seven to eightfold at multiple locations throughout the region.
According to a numerical model-based system developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune, smoke from stubble burning accounted for 25 per cent of the P.M.2.5 pollution in Delhi on Thursday. It may soar to 35 per cent today.
Alarmed by the spike in air pollution levels, the Centre’s Pollution Control Panel ordered an immediate ban on non-essential construction work, stone crushing and mining in the region.
Restrictions have also been imposed on plying of B.S. III petrol and B.S. IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.
Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that all government and private primary schools in the city will remain closed for the next two days in view of rising pollution levels.
Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai has called an emergency meeting today to review the situation.