New Delhi: Taking into consideration the severity of air pollution in the NCR-Delhi region, a Supreme Court-appointed panel on Tuesday recommended immediate enhancement of parking fee by four times.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) to tackle the issue of rising air pollution by discouraging people from using private vehicles.
The Delhi government on Tuesday issued advisory asking primary schools to remain shut on Wednesday. The order will be extended till the day after if need arises.
"Outdoor activities including assemblies should not take place in schools," Education Minister Manish Sisodia said.
The EPCA panel has also recommended re-introduction of odd-even scheme for private vehicles based on license plate numbers with minimal exceptions.
EPCA sought for the intensification of public transport service, by ensuring more buses on road that are run with reliable service.
It also recommended an increase in the frequency of service, including deploying more coaches and introduction of lower fares during off-peak hours.
As many as 8000 masks were distributed to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel involved in Metro security and 5000 to those in Airport security and about 1000 to the rest.
Earlier on Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the capital city of India has become "gas chamber".
Meanwhile, Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan governments to inform about the action taken against stubble burning.
"Situation is grave in wake of advisories issued against sending children to school and discouraging morning walks by people," the High Court observed.
"Stubble burning may be the visible villain but there are other contributory factors too," it added.
The Indian Medical Association has declared a public health emergency in New Delhi on Tuesday as a choking blanket of smog descended on the world's most polluted capital city.
The declaration came as the US embassy website said levels of the fine pollutants known as PM2.5, which are most harmful to health, reached 703 -- well over double the threshold of 300 that authorities class as hazardous.
(With inputs from PTI)