The prevailing smog and air pollution across the northern part of the country have forced a delay of 64 trains while 14 trains have been rescheduled and two trains cancelled.
Pollution level has reached an alarming stage in and around Delhi and deadly smog has choked the adjoining states for almost a week now.
Authorities in Delhi had ordered an immediate halt on civil construction works and banned the entry of trucks, except those carrying essential commodities, in the city as the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) announced that pollution levels have hit ‘severe plus’.
Visibility on Friday morning showed improvement, but Delhi’s air quality remained ‘severe’ for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, said Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) officials.
The air quality index (AQI) recorded on Friday at 7.30 am was 483, a small drop from Thursday’s average of 486. As the day rose, the IMD recording 484 in Delhi, 498 in Ghaziabad, Noida 485 and Gurgaon 485.
According to IMD, Friday’s reading shows sign of improvement of air quality and the AQI will return to ‘very poor’ from ‘severe’ levels by the weekend. PM10 level which had shot up to 800ug/m3 on November 7 had dropped to 750 ug/m3 on Thursday evening.
The Supreme Court-appointed EPCA, which is empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), said it has decided to ramp up the plan to ‘severe plus’ in view of the prevailing smog episode.
On Tuesday, the EPCA had directed authorities to implement measures under the GRAP’s ‘severe’ category, including hiking parking fees and introducing differential pricing in public transport.
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