NEW DELHI: In order to bring down the vehicular pollution in the national capital, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Friday recommended private and government offices to encourage their employees to work from home. A task force led by the CPCB has recommended a host of other measures to control pollution including carpooling and use of public transport.
A meeting of the task force, which was convened on Friday, also advised schools to make arrangements for picking up or dropping children together by buses to reduce use of private vehicles. “We have issued an advisory to corporates, including the IT sector, to encourage its employees to work from home in the next few months so as to reduce pollution caused due to traffic congestion in the national capital,” CPCB member-secretary Prashant Gargava said.
The 10-member CPCB task force on the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), which lists measures to be followed as per air pollution levels in Delhi-NCR, has asked the state pollution control boards to remain vigilant and closely monitor air quality. The Air Quality Index in the city has been deteriorating with the dip in temperature. For the last two days, the AQI has been over 300 at several places in the city and the overall air quality has been swinging between the “poor” and “very poor” category.
The power supply companies have been requested to provide uninterrupted electricity to prevent use of diesel generator sets during winter, he said. The day and night patrolling and monitoring in high emission or priority areas has also been intensified, he added. He also mentioned that more focus is required at the 19 hotspots identified with the Delhi government. In the last three review meetings of the task force, a specific action plan has been developed to deal with pollution caused due to unpaved roads, dumping of waste and heavy vehicles, another CPCB official said.
AQI swings between ‘poor and very poor’
The overall air quality index in the city stood at 306 at 9 am on Friday. By 9 pm, it improved by 64 points and was recorded at 242. In the morning the AQI at DTU, Dwarka Sector 8, Narela, Wazirpur and Bawana was 312, 316, 310, 312, and 341 respectively.