Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Tuesday ordered that trucks to be allowed to enter the Capital only after midnight, imposing another restriction as part of efforts to tackle the city’s air pollution crisis. Jung, however, lifted the ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi, “in view of the loss of income of daily wage labourers and the labouring class”. The midnight restriction, which was pushed from 10 pm, will continue till January 31, 2017.
Following a meeting on Tuesday to review levels of air pollution in the National Capital Region, the lieutenant governor also asked the Delhi Development Authority to provide Delhi Traffic Police with land where impounded trucks and other diesel vehicles more than 15 years old can be temporarily parked. Jung’s office said that in order to control pollution, 2,625 trucks headed to Delhi had not been allowed past the border, according to The Indian Express.
With regard to lifting the ban on construction, Jung emphasised that the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s guidelines to minimise dust pollution at the sites should be strictly followed. According to the committee, in the past two weeks, there had been a one-third fall in the levels of PM 10 (particulate matters that are 10 or less than 10 micrometres in diameter) and a one-fourth drop in that of PM 2.5 (particulate matters that are 2.5 or less than 2.5), IANS reported.
To improve the air quality in the city, which had dropped to hazardous levels after Diwali, the Delhi government and the lieutenant governor had imposed a number of restrictions, These included keeping school shuts, banning diesel vehicles, firecrackers and construction works, as well as temporarily shutting down the Badarpur Power Plant. Jung has now directed authorities to strictly monitor the ban on firecrackers during the wedding season.
While pollution levels have dropped considerably since November 2, when it had reached the worst level in four years, they still remain above normal levels. Jung has asked all concerned parties to help chalk out a long-term solution to control the worsening air quality in Delhi. The National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court are both monitoring the Capital’s pollution crisis.