Delhi bans entry of diesel buses, restricts construction work as air quality worsens to ‘very poor’ category

Delhi government Wednesday said it has banned the entry of diesel buses into the national capital from today and restricted the construction work in areas having AQI above 400 as the air quality of the city-state slipped deep into the 'very poor' category.

Livemint
Updated1 Nov 2023, 05:38 PM IST
Delhi air pollution: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai these conditions are expected to persist for the next few days, making the next fortnight crucial for the national capital
Delhi air pollution: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai these conditions are expected to persist for the next few days, making the next fortnight crucial for the national capital(Photo: Mint)

Delhi government Wednesday said it has banned the entry of diesel buses into the national capital from today and restricted the construction work in areas having AQI above 400 as the air quality of the city-state slipped deep into the 'very poor' category.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai, after a review meeting, said in a press conference that despite the implementation of preventive measures under Stage 2 of the Central government's air pollution control plan, the pollution level in the national capital is continually rising due to drop in temperature and calm winds.

The minister said these conditions are expected to persist for the next few days, making the next fortnight crucial for the national capital. He also requested the neighbouring states to ply only CNG, Electric or BS-VI buses from their depots so that passengers do not face any trouble.

"The entry of diesel buses into Delhi has been stopped from today as per the directions by CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management). 18 teams have been formed for this...It is my request to the state governments to ply only CNG, Electric or BS-VI buses from their depots so that passengers do not face any trouble," the Delhi environment minister said.

The minister further said the Delhi government has ordered to halt construction work within a 1-km radius where the AQI exceeds the 400 marks for five consecutive days, he also instructed nodal officers to ensure strict enforcement of air pollution control measures in such areas.

"From November 1, the next 15 to 20 days are critical. Scientists are saying that the temperature is dropping and the speed of air has decreased, so pollutants are at a lower level. Yesterday, AQI was nearly 350. Due to the work going on in the 13 hotspots in Delhi, the situation is fairly under control. At some hotspots, vehicle pollution's contribution is high," ANI quoted the minister as saying.  

Rai directed the officials of the concerned departments to convene a meeting later in the day to analyse the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)-II.

"Today there is a meeting of different departments to analyze GRAP-II, which was implemented in all of Delhi. We have asked for reports from different places to know what the sources of local pollution are. We have requested that the state governments send CNG or BS-VI buses from the depot itself. The report released by the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) shows that stubble burning has reduced, but its impact can be seen on Delhi pollution," he added.

Delhi Air Quality Index

Meanwhile, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the national capital slipped deeper into the 'very poor' category for the fourth day in a row and the third straight day this week.

The AQI was recorded at 372 at 10 a.m., the highest so far this season. The 24-hour average AQI was 359 on Tuesday, 347 on Monday, 325 on Sunday, 304 on Saturday and 261 on Friday.

As per the SAFAR-India, several areas of the national capital are observing a drastic deterioration in air quality and have plunged into the 'severe' category: Nehru Nagar (402), Sonia Vihar (412), Rohini (403), Wazirpur (422), Bawana (403), Mundka (407), Anand Vihar (422), and New Moti Bagh (435).

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe.

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First Published:1 Nov 2023, 05:38 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaDelhi bans entry of diesel buses, restricts construction work as air quality worsens to ‘very poor’ category

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