‘Cut down vehicular movement, outdoor activities in Delhi-NCR’

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In view of the continuous hazardous levels of air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR), the government has kicked in measures including asking government and private offices to cut down vehicular transport to 30 per cent and limiting outdoor activities.

“Government and private offices and other establishments are advised to reduce vehicle usage by 30 per cent (by working from home, car-pooling, optimising field activities etc.) People are advised to limit outdoor activities and minimise their exposure,” the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) for Delhi and surrounding areas sub-committee, headed by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Member Secretary, Prashant Gargava, said.

The PM10 and PM2.5 levels in Delhi-NCR crossed the threshold limits of 500 micrograms per metre cube and 300 micrograms per metre cube on Friday, prompting the sub-committee of the CAQM to invoke the stricter provisions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) that was already put in place on November 8 soon after Diwali.

Delhi and other cities of the NCR have been exposed to severe and hazardous air pollution levels over the last week in view of the increased instances of farm fires in Punjab and Haryana aggravated by the still winds and rising fog levels.

Meanwhile, Delhi reported moderate smog conditions all through Friday with poor visibility at 300-800m range, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The IGI Airport, Palam had better visibility compared (500-800 m) to the city airport at Safdarjung (300-500 m).

“For the first time in this season, such poor visibility conditions, especially in the afternoon parts with smog covered remained across NCR Delhi throughout the day. Yesterday too there was smog but during afternoon hours, visibility had improved to 800-1200 m,” the IMD said, adding, the main reason has been calm or light winds continuing to prevail through the day and high humidity compared to Thursday.

–IANS

niv/pgh