Delhi Govt bans diesel buses, restricts construction as air quality reaches ‘very poor’ category

Delhi government Wednesday said it has banned the entry of diesel buses into the national capital from today and restricted the construction work in areas having AQI above 400 as the air quality of the city-state slipped deep into the ‘very poor’ category.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai

The Delhi administration said on Wednesday that, as the city-state’s air quality fell further into the “very poor” category, it would no longer allow diesel buses to enter the nation’s capital and would limit building activity in places with an AQI of 400 or above.

Following a review meeting, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai stated in a press conference that the national capital’s pollution level is continuously rising because of cool temperatures and calm winds, even though Stage 2 of the Central government’s air pollution control plan has implemented preventive measures.

The minister stated that the national capital would be heavily dependent on the next two weeks since current conditions are predicted to persist for the next few days. Additionally, he asked the surrounding states to only CNG, Electric or BS -VI buses from their depots so that passengers do not face any trouble.

“As instructed by the CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management), the entry of diesel buses into Delhi has been prohibited as of today. For this, eighteen teams have been created.To ensure that passengers have no problems, I am requesting that state governments operate exclusively CNG, Electric, or BS-VI buses out of their depots,” the environment minister from Delhi stated.

The minister went on to say that the Delhi government has directed nodal authorities to strictly implement air pollution control measures in locations where the AQI is over 400 for five days in a row, and that building activities within a one-kilometer radius of such places must stop.

The next 15 to 20 days after 1st November are critical. According to scientists, because of the falling temperature and slowed air velocity, pollution levels have dropped. Nearly 350 was the AQI yesterday. The situation in Delhi is mostly under control because of the work that is being done in the 13 hotspots. Vehicle pollution contributes significantly in some locations, the minister was cited by ANI as saying.

Rai instructed the appropriate department officials to call a meeting for a later time to review the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)-II.

“Today, many departments are gathering to examine GRAP-II, which was executed over the entirety of Delhi. We have requested information from several sources in order to identify the origins of the contamination in the area. We have asked the state governments to dispatch buses running on CNG or BS-VI directly from the depot. Though stubble burning has decreased, its effects are still evident in Delhi’s pollution, according to a report published by the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM),” he continued.

Delhi Air Quality Index

For the fourth day in a row and the third this week, the national capital’s Air Quality Index (AQI) continued to fall farther into the “very poor” category.

At 10 a.m., the AQI reached its highest point of the season, 372. Tuesday’s 24-hour average AQI was 359; Monday’s was 347; Sunday’s was 325; Saturday’s was 304; and Friday’s was 261.

According to SAFAR-India, a number of the nation’s capital’s neighborhoods—Nehru Nagar (402), Sonia Vihar (412), Rohini (403), Wazirpur (422), Bawana (403), Mundka (407), Anand Vihar (422), and New Moti Bagh (435)—are witnessing a sharp decline in air quality.

An AQI of zero to fifty is deemed favorable, 51 and 200 intermediate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 extremely poor, 401 and 500 severe, and 100 acceptable.

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