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Entry of trucks in Delhi may be banned: CPCB

Entry of trucks in Delhi may be banned: CPCB

NEW DELHI: Entry of trucks in the national Capital may be banned if the pollution level does not reduce by Friday morning, the Central Pollution Control Board-led task force recommended on Thursday. Noting that "combustion sources require priority attention", the CPCB-led taskforce called for an intensification of measures already in force. "The task force opines that measures already in force must continue with intensified action by implementing agencies particularly with regard to traffic congestion, open burning of waste, industrial emissions," the task force said. "In case the situation does not improve by tomorrow morning (Friday), entry of truck traffic into Delhi (except essential commodities) may be stopped," it said. The task force also urged people to minimise the use of personal vehicles and avoid prolonged exposure to the outdoor air.

"The severe condition has continued for 31 hours consecutively exceeding 300 µg/m3 for PM2.5. It is observed that while PM10 levels are marginally exceeding 500 µg/m3, PM2.5 levels are much higher reaching up to 350 µg/m3," the task force said. Delhi's air quality remained severe for the second day on Thursday due to adverse meteorological conditions as authorities warned that the condition would continue to deteriorate unless sufficient rainfall brings respite by cleansing the air. "The Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to go up further within the ' severe' range until Friday afternoon," the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said on Thursday. The ' severe' situation is likely to deteriorate further as the India Meteorological Department has forecast light to very light rains from January 5 to 7. "The winter pre-shower conditions which introduces a huge amount of moisture with dense fog is responsible for a peak in the current scenario. Only sufficient rain can bring relief as a little shower only aggravates the situation," SAFAR said.

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