After Diwali, Delhi has been suffocating with air pollution. Therefore, in an attempt to provide relief to people, Delhi Government announced the closure of schools for one week. Additionally, it has advised all the offices to shift to online mode and work from home. During this period, all construction activities in Delhi NCR have also been banned.
The steps were taken with an aim to improve the air quality. Shifting the offices to work from home mode and the closure of schools will reduce the number of vehicles on road thereby lessening vehicular pollution. Also, the ban on construction activities will bring down the overall pollution level.
The chief minister said that the government is working on a proposal for lockdown in the national capital. This proposal will be presented to the Supreme Court, Kejriwal added. He also stated that the air pollution levels are rising in Delhi due to stubble burning in neighbouring states. He assured that all the stakeholders will work together to combat it.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on November 12, 2021, advised government and private offices to cut down their vehicular usage by at least 30 per cent. The pollution body issued an advisory, advising people to limit their outdoor activities. Also, the citizens have been requested to minimise their exposure to the air in the city.
Delhi: No oxygen to breathe?
The national capital recorded its worst air quality index (AQI) level on 12th November, 2021, with a 24-hour average of 471.
The air quality in Delhi continues to remain in the ‘severe’ category for several days now. AQI is being recorded at 473. The air quality index of neighbouring areas; Noida and Gurgaon was recorded at 587 and 557 respectively.
According to SAFAR, the air quality index of Lodhi Road, Delhi University, IIT Delhi, Pusa Road-l and Delhi airport was recorded at 489, 466, 474, 480 and 504 respectively.
Impose a 2-day lockdown: CJI Ramana tells Delhi government
The Supreme Court pulled up the centre and the state governments while hearing a plea concerning air pollution on November 13, 2021. Subsequently, the court suggested imposing a two-day lockdown in the city amid the worsening air quality.
The plea was filed in the Supreme Court by 17-year-old student Aditya Dubey concerning rising levels of air pollution in the city.
Talking about the worsening air quality, CJI Ramana said, “We have seen how bad the situation is. We are wearing masks even inside our homes.”
Also, read Delhi becoming a gas chamber after Diwali 2021 here.