Entry of trucks into Capital banned till November 11
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Thursday ordered a ban on the entry of trucks in the national Capital, as recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed pollution watchdog EPCA. The ban started from late night on November 8 and will continue till 11 pm on November 11.
Government sources also confirmed that the Odd-Even scheme to control movement of private vehicles is also ready and the government may implement it whenever the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) recommends.
The Authority also directed state governments of the National Capital Region to stop the entry of trucks into the Capital.
"You are requested to direct all authorities, particularly the police, to coordinate action on this so that trucks are turned around before entry into Delhi," the EPCA letter read.
The letter also calls for users of private diesel cars to refrain from using them. "You are also requested to take out notices requesting people not to use diesel private cars in this period."
Diesel emissions are extremely toxic and add to the severity of air pollution in Delhi-NCR. "The Delhi government has ordered a complete ban on the entry of trucks till November 11. We have ordered all the authorities to coordinate on the matter and to impose the ban. This will help the city to come out of the pollution situation," said an official.
Reacting on the order an official from South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) said, "As per instructions issued by the EPCA, entry of trucks carrying essential commodities in Delhi will not be allowed with effect from 11 pm on November 8 to 11 pm on November 11 keeping in view the deteriorating level of air pollution."
"The EPCA communications addressed to Delhi Government has been forwarded to the MCDs and Delhi Police for strict compliance. Trucks carrying essential commodities such as fruit, vegetables, milk, medicines etc will not be affected with the instructions of the EPCA," the official added.
Meanwhile, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) had warned that even if partially toxic firecrackers – compared to last year's – were burnt, the air quality would fall to the 'severe' category.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51-100 'satisfactory', 101-200 'moderate', 201-300 'poor', 301-400 'very poor', 401-500 'severe' and above 500 falls in 'severe-plus' category.
On Thursday night, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 574.
"The AQI entered the 'severe' category at 2 am and will continue to remain in the severe category until evening," a senior official said.
A 'severe plus emergency' AQI essentially means that even healthy people may suffer from respiratory illnesses on a prolonged exposure to such air.
This air will seriously affect those with ailments, according to the advisory issued by SAFAR.