Smog: Pri­vate cars may be halted in Delhi

Move may be nec­es­sary as toxic smog en­velopes vast swathes in the north

Gulf News - - India -

In­dia may halt the use of pri­vate ve­hi­cles in the cap­i­tal New Delhi if air pol­lu­tion, which has reached se­vere lev­els in re­cent days, gets worse, a se­nior en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

Toxic smog has started to en­ve­lope vast swathes of north­ern In­dia, in­clud­ing New Delhi, as it does each year when farm­ers burn off the residue of crops.

“Let us hope the air pol­lu­tion sit­u­a­tion in Delhi doesn’t de­te­ri­o­rate but if it turns out to be an emer­gency, we will have to stop the use of pri­vate trans­port,” said Bhure Lal, chair­man of the Environment Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Au­thor­ity (EPCA).

EPCA, ap­pointed by In­dia’s Supreme Court, has al­ready pro­posed halt­ing con­struc­tion, the use of diesel-run power gen­er­a­tors, brick kilns and the burn­ing of garbage be­tween Novem­ber 1 and Novem­ber 10 when pol­lu­tion lev­els are ex­pected to rise.

Data from the Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board showed the air qual­ity index hit 469 in parts of Delhi on Tues­day, up from 299.4 a week ago.

Crop stub­ble burn­ing, a ma­jor source of pol­lu­tion, ve­hic­u­lar ex­haust and a drop-off in wind speeds have ag­gra­vated the smog that is likely to worsen around Novem­ber 7, when fire­works will set off to cel­e­brate the ma­jor Hindu fes­ti­val of Di­wali.

AFP

Yoga en­thu­si­asts in Lodhi Gar­dens amid heavy smog in New Delhi yes­ter­day. Au­thor­i­ties have pro­posed halt­ing con­struc­tion to curb the smog.

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