New Delhi: A panel mandated by the Supreme Court to monitor air quality in Delhi has declared a public health emergency in the National Capital Region (NCR) as pollution spiked to unprecedented levels since January this year. This is the first time that a public health emergency has been declared in 2019 because worsening air quality in Delhi. Schools have been shut in Delhi till November 5.
Air quality in Delhi enters ‘severe plus’ category
The air quality index showed that pollution the national capital has entered the “severe-plus” category. The SC-mandated panel, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, has also banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season. In a letter addressed to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, EPCA Chairman Bhure Lal said, “The air quality in Delhi and NCR deteriorated further last night and is now at the severe plus level. We have to take this as a public health emergency as it will have adverse health impacts on all, particularly our children.”
Construction activities to remain closed
Because of worsening pollution, construction activities, hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida have been shut till the morning of November 5.
What Friday morning looked like?
There was a thick blanket of haze in Delhi on Friday morning as the national capital’s pollution levels soared overnight. Lal said that pollution touched “severe-plus” levels on early Friday morning but came down to “severe” later. According to official data, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 1 pm on Friday was recorded at 480, which falls in the “severe” category. Here’s Friday morning in pictures:
On Friday morning, Delhi woke up to a post-apocalypse-like world as a thick smog hung over the city.
When a minister asks, where does the buck stop? Image shows Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics and Implementation Vijay Goel fasting against air pollution.
A view of Akshardham Temple in Delhi on Friday morning.
Only where the road bends, you can't see what tomorrow brings.
Spot India Gate, can you?
The ivory tower of smog.
Can you see what I see?