Health emergency in Delhi; schools closed construction stopped till 5 Nov
01 November 2019
The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) has declared a public health emergency in Delhi-NCR and prohibited construction activities in Delhi and NCR till the morning of 5 November. The EPCA also completely banned bursting of crackers for the entire winter season.
"This is a public health emergency as air pollution is now hazardous and will have adverse health impacts on all particularly the children," said the EPCA.
"Air pollution is at severe+ levels, which is hazardous for health. People are advised to ensure that they minimise personal exposure as far as possible/do not exercise in the open till pollution levels are reduced and in particular minimise the exposure of children, aged and vulnerable," EPCA said in its advisory,
It also said, "Schools are advised to work to minimise exposure of children by curtailing all outdoor activities and sports for this period."
The air quality in Delhi and its adjoining areas - Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Faridabad and Noida - further deteriorated on Friday as it plunged to 'severe' category. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi was recorded at 425 in the morning and at places like Lodhi Road, Delhi University, airport and Mathura Road, the AQI was 401, 452, 482 and 464, respectively. The visibility came down to 600 metres in the early hours of Friday.
As of now, Ghaziabad and Noida are most polluted with AQI at 491 and 471, respectively. The AQI in Gurugram is said to be at 421. "The overall air quality in Delhi continues to be in the 'severe' category. The calm surface wind condition that prevails last two days over Delhi has led to strong surface nocturnal inversion and accumulation of pollutants. The effective stubble fire counts of Northwest India (Haryana & Punjab) has increased from the previous day count of 1057 to 2396," Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said on Friday.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday distributed masks to school students following rise in pollution levels in the city. "People are facing difficulty in breathing, and to provide relief, we're distributing two masks to each student in private and government t schools," Arvind Kejriwal told ANI, while distributed masks to school students.
The Air quality in 'severe' category in areas around Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium and India Gate, according to Central Pollution Control Board.