Delhi air pollution: Hours before the 'emergency'

Apex Court-appointed body on pollution releases advisory, says pollution levels in Delhi-NCR will be ‘severe’ for the next week  

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 05 November 2018
Delhi Air Pollution
Credit: Vikas Choudhary Credit: Vikas Choudhary

The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for the National Capital Region (NCR) or EPCA, a body appointed by the Supreme Court, has issued an advisory today, in which it has warned that pollution levels in Delhi-NCR would be “severe” in the next week.

EPCA has also called for a halt to all industrial activity in Delhi-NCR for the period November 4-10, reiterating the directions issued by it on October 27.

The advisory, written by Bhure Lal, Chairman, EPCA, to Chief Secretaries of Delhi, HaryanaUttar Pradesh and Rajasthan says, “There has been a significant intrusion of bio-mass (stubble) generated pollution early morning today owing to faster transport level winds (925hpa) coming from the North-West region. This has increased pollution levels significantly and AQI (Air Quality Index) is likely to enter SEVERE category. According to SAFAR (meteorological organisation), contribution of bio-mass to today's pollution is estimated to be 24 per cent. Surface wind speed which was moderate for the past three days is now inching towards calm conditions. The wind speed which was 29kmph at transport height is declining now (15kmph) and is likely to slow down intrusion. Moisture in the air is increasing due to western disturbance withdrawal. Temperature will further cool down and fog is expected. The pollution is likely to get stabilised only by late evening.”

The advisory goes on to say that in light of the development and warning, EPCA would like to reiterate that all the emergency orders already issued under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on October 12, October 27 and October 31, must intensify, and be implemented and enforced with utmost discipline and stringency and with zero tolerance.

It specially calls for a halt to all industrial activity in Delhi-NCR. “All industry using biomass and coal except thermal power plants and waste-to-energy plants must stop along with implementing other measures. This will have to be enforced in all legal industrial areas as well as unauthorised areas,” it says.

(With inputs from Polash Mukerjee)

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