New Delhi: As Delhi and its suburbs literally inhaled poison for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, the government announced a slew of emergency measures to bring down the pollution level and protect the vulnerable.
Entry of all trucks, except those carrying essential items, has been banned, all civil construction and demolition activities stopped till further notice, and all schools are to remain shut till Sunday in view of the “unbearable” air pollution.
The Delhi government also said that it is ready to roll out the odd-even scheme if air pollution levels persist in “severe plus” category for 48 hours. However, a statement from the lieutenant-governor’s office said the decision on odd-even would be taken on Thursday.
The thick blanket of haze that hung over NCR scored a staggering 487 on a scale of 500 of the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) air quality index, indicating “severe” levels of pollution which can affect even healthy people and “seriously impact” those with existing diseases.
In its health advisory, the government said people should stay indoors as much as possible as the “smog is poisonous”.
The polluted air is a mixture of carbon monoxide, particulate matter such as PM2.5, PM10 (Particulate Matter), ground-level ozone and oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide, the health advisory said....