New Delhi, November 1: With the air quality of the national capital deteriorating to "very severe" levels and public health emergency declared in NCR, the Arvind Kejriwal government has appealed people to co-operate so that efforts to tackle the situation can bear fruitful results. The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Friday morning docked at 412 in Delhi which falls in the "very severe" category.
The Delhi government has blamed the stubble burning by farmers of neighbouring states -- Haryana and Punjab -- for the rise in air pollution and haze. While the government agency -- System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) -- claimed that pollution rose to 46 per cent on Friday due to the above factor. Following this, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had appealed to chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana to take appropriate action to stop stubble burning. Ola, Uber Cab Services Barred From Surge Pricing During Odd-Even Days in Delhi.
Considering the rise in air pollution, the Kejriwal government called for an emergency meeting with all the government and private agencies. Soon after the meeting, the state government announced a slew of measures including schools to remain shut till November 5, special directions for private cab operating services and shift in operational timing for government staff.
Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority on Friday too declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region, following which the Supreme Court (SC) banned construction activity till November 5. Following this, the EPCA too, banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season. Delhi Air Pollution: Arvind Kejriwal Govt Declares Holidays in Schools Till November 5.
Among other measures that the state government has taken include barring private cab services -- like Ola and Uber -- from surge pricing during the Odd-Even days, to be implemented in Delhi from November 4 to 15. Apart from this, the Chief Minister had asked the auto-rickshaw drivers to go by the meter prices. All the agencies and the cab companies had promised cooperation in this regard. Distribution of 50 lakh masks is also on the cards to help Delhi citizens tackle with the poor air quality.
Supreme Court-appointed panel declared a public health emergency after air quality in the NCR region dipped to 410 on October 31. AQI of 400 is deemed as "severe" and Delhi's AQI has been in the severe category for five consecutive days now. It is to be known that the overall air quality in Delhi settled at 484 on Friday evening and has been worsening with every passing day post-Diwali. According to Safar India, the PM 10 count, which was earlier in "very poor" category, at 555 is now in the "severe" category. The PM 2.5 at 383 continues to be in the "severe" category.