NEW DELHI: Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal today ordered stoppage of all civil construction activities across Delhi as part of emergency measures to bring down the severe dust pollution.
The air quality in Delhi remained beyond the "severe" level for the third day today and the authorities warned that dusty conditions were likely to prevail for another 3-4 days and advised people to avoid staying outdoors for long hours.
"Held emergency meeting in view of severe dust pollution in Delhi with Hon Min @ImranHussaain & officials. Emergency measures like stoppage of all civil construction activities till 17th June. More monitoring by agencies like NHAI, DMRC, MCDs, PWD & NBCC etc. for ensuring compliance (sic)," the L-G tweeted.
The air quality deteriorated because of dust storms in western India, particularly Rajasthan, which increased coarser particles in the air, the Central Pollution Control Board said.
PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10mm) was beyond severe at 796 in Delhi-NCR and 830 in Delhi, leading to hazy conditions.
According to the CPCB, the air quality index (AQI) -- a measurement of the concentration of toxic particulate matter in the air -- at several places in Delhi remained beyond the 500-mark, with east Delhi's Anand Vihar area recording a PM10 level of 929 and PM2.5 level of 301 this morning.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered "Good", 51-100 "Satisfactory", 101-200 "Moderate", 201-300 "Poor", 301-400 "Very Poor", and 401-500 "Severe".
The L-G also said that a massive afforestation drive would be conducted across Delhi from July 15 to September 15.
"Massive afforestation drive from 15 July-15 Sept. across Delhi will be undertaken. Residents' participation is welcome. Information about procurement of saplings, identified areas for plantation activities etc. can be obtained from Forest Deptt, GNCTD. Green Delhi our common goal," the L-G further said on Twitter.