Delhi Implements Truck Ban, Closes Schools as Pollution Soars: Remote Work May Be Next Step

Delhi Implements Truck Ban, Closes Schools as Pollution Soars: Remote Work May Be Next Step

Delhi Implements Stricter Measures to Combat Rising Pollution

Delhi has taken additional steps to tackle the severe air pollution in the city, including banning the entry of trucks and considering the closure of schools and offices. The state governments in the National Capital Region (NCR) are yet to finalize these decisions.

Here are the key points regarding this major development:

1. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called for a high-level meeting to discuss the pollution crisis. Environment Minister Gopal Rai and officials from all relevant departments will attend the meeting.

2. Delhi’s overall air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 488, surpassing the safe level recommended by the World Health Organization. Areas like RK Puram (466), ITO (402), Patparganj (471), and New Moti Bagh (488) are among the worst affected.

3. Cities in Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh in the NCR have also reported hazardous air quality. Ghaziabad (413), Gurugram (369), Noida (403), Greater Noida (396), and Faridabad (426) are facing toxic air conditions.

4. The increase in pollution is linked to a rise in stubble burning incidents in neighboring states. Punjab recorded the highest number of farm fires this season, with a 740 percent increase on Sunday compared to Saturday. Stubble burning had significantly reduced in October.

5. The Central Government has implemented the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) at its highest level in Delhi and surrounding cities. Stage-IV, the most severe level, has been activated to impose stricter restrictions.

6. As a result of the latest restrictions, a long queue of trucks was seen at Delhi’s Apsara border, unable to enter the city. Under GRAP Stage-IV, only trucks carrying essential goods, providing essential services, or powered by LNG, CNG, or electricity are permitted to enter Delhi.

7. Only electric, CNG, and BS-VI diesel light commercial vehicles (LCVs) registered outside of Delhi are allowed to enter the city. Vehicles carrying essential goods or providing essential services are exempted from these restrictions. Construction activities, including public projects, have been put on hold.

8. The Delhi government has ordered the closure of schools up to class 5 until November 10 due to the increasing pollution levels. Classes 6-12 are not required to close but can switch to online classes if desired. The Delhi and central governments are considering allowing public, municipal, and private offices to operate with half of their staff working from home.

9. The toxic smog enveloping Delhi has raised concerns among doctors about the rising number of respiratory and eye ailments, particularly among children and the elderly.

10. The India Meteorological Department predicts that Delhi will experience another day of toxic smog. However, conditions favorable for the dispersion of pollutants are expected to develop from Tuesday night onwards under the influence of an upcoming western disturbance.

Delhi is taking these measures to combat the alarming pollution levels and mitigate the health risks associated with it.