NEW DELHI: As the air quality of the National Capital worsened with an increase in the Air Quality Index, the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has banned construction activities in Delhi and satellite towns from October 26 to 30 and closure of coal-based industries in Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Sonepat, Greater Noida and Bahadurgarh in the same time period.
The AQI fluctuated between 260 and 300 across several areas, keeping the quality of air under “poor” and “very poor” category as per the Ministry of Earth Science’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) on Friday.
“Hot mix plants, stone crushers and activities such as earth work, which have potential to generate dust, to be banned between 6 pm to 6 am during October 26 to 30 in Delhi and satellite towns namely Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad, Greater Noida, Sonepat and Bahadurgarh,” it read.
The prediction of worsening air quality over the festive weekend led to the recommendations made by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Task Force on the urgent measures to be taken under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
“In Delhi, industries which have not yet shifted to piped natural gas will remain closed from October 26 to 30,” the task force headed by CPCB Member Secretary Prashant Gargava said. It has asked all implementing agencies to take strict action for checking stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana and ensure enforcement of the Supreme Court’s directions regarding firecrackers and impound “visibly” polluting vehicles.