Entry of diesel buses into Delhi stopped from today: Environment Minister Gopal Rai

New Delhi [India], November 1 (ANI): Environment Minister Gopal Rai chaired a review meeting at the Delhi Secretariat on Wednesday on the rising pollution level and implementation of Graded Response Action Plan-II.

A decision was taken to stop construction work within a one-kilometer radius in hot spots where the AQI level continuously remains close to 400, he said.

“The entry of diesel buses into Delhi has been stopped from today as per the directions by CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management). 18 teams have been formed for this…It is my request to the state governments to ply only CNG, Electric or BS-VI buses from their depots so that passengers do not face any trouble,” the Delhi environment minister said.

Taking account of the poor air quality situation of the national capital, Rai said that the next 15-20 days from November 1 onwards would be critical in the context of the air quality index.

Speaking to ANI, Rai said: “From November 1, the next 15 to 20 days are critical. Scientists are saying that the temperature is dropping and the speed of air has decreased, so pollutants are at a lower level. Yesterday, AQI was nearly 350. Due to the work going on in the 13 hotspots in Delhi, the situation is fairly under control. At some hotspots, vehicle pollution’s contribution is high.”

The Environment Minister further said that different departments will convene a meeting later in the day to analyse the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)-II.

“Today there is a meeting of different departments to analyze GRAP-II, which was implemented in all of Delhi. We have asked for reports from different places to know what the sources of local pollution are. We have requested that the state governments send CNG or BS-VI buses from the depot itself. The report released by the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) shows that stubble burning has reduced, but its impact can be seen on Delhi pollution,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, the air quality index in the national capital was recorded at 336 on Wednesday morning bringing the air quality under the ‘very poor’ category for the fourth day in a row and the third straight day this week.

As per the SAFAR-India, the city’s AQI has been in the ‘very poor’ category since Sunday (309).

The AQI was recorded at 322 on Monday and 327 on Tuesday, as per the data provided by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India. (ANI)




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