In order to combat air pollution and minimise its health effects, the Delhi government on Sunday extended the ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items into the city and work from home for its employees till November 26.
Though the entry ban of trucks carrying non-essential items has been extended, it is not yet clear if the curbs on construction and demolition activities will continue. According to a PTI report citing a senior official, the curbs on construction have been lifted.
Schools and colleges will remain closed in the national capital till further orders. The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) will hold a review meeting on November 23 in this regard.
"Keeping in view the very poor air quality forecast and that vehicular pollution would cause extensive air pollution and release harmful air pollutants, particularly when the air quality is very poor, it is felt that there is a need for further extension of the curbs on vehicular movement in Delhi," the order issued by the environment department said.
The CAQM order also said that all offices of GNCT of Delhi, autonomous bodies, corporations will remain closed till November 26 except those involved in essential and emergency services. However, all the officers and officials will work from home, the order said.
Earlier, the Delhi government had banned construction and demolition activities in the city and ordered its employees to work from home till Sunday (November 21).
The commission had held an emergency meeting on Tuesday with senior officials of Delhi and the NCR states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on air pollution in the region.
According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology's Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi, the air quality is likely to remain in the "poor to moderate" category on Monday and Tuesday.
The air quality for the subsequent five days is also likely to remain in the "poor to the lower end of the very poor category", it said.
On Sunday, winds gusting up to 20 kilometre per hour barrelled through the city, dispersing pollutants partially and improving visibility. The city recorded its 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) at 349, down from 374 on Saturday. Neighbouring Faridabad (377), Ghaziabad (319), Gurugram (364) and Noida (322) also recorded the air quality in the "very poor" category.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".
Winds gusting up to 30 kilometre per hour are likely on Monday, the IMD said.
First Published: IST