As the quality of the air in the nation’s capital continues to deteriorate, Delhi and the National Capital Region have been placed under the final phase of the Center’s anti-pollution plan, effective immediately.
This include prohibiting the entry of non-essential trucks into Delhi, prohibiting building, including public projects, and maybe closing educational institutions and instituting work-from-home policies for employees of public and private enterprises.
The CAQM, a statutory body responsible for formulating strategies to combat pollution in the region, has asked Delhi and NCR states to implement all emergency measures, which also include work-from-home directives for 50 per cent of staff in government and private offices.
Stage IV, of the Centre’s air pollution control plan, is activated at least three days before the Air Quality Index surpasses the 450 mark in the capital. However, proactive implementation could not happen this time.
The city’s air quality index worsened from 415 at 4 pm on Saturday to 463 at 3 pm on Sunday, due to unfavourable meteorological conditions and a spike in stubble-burning incidents in neighbouring states.
The air crisis is not confined to Delhi alone; several cities in neighbouring Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have also reported hazardous air quality.