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Monday, Dec 16, 2019

Delhi’s ‘severe’ air quality prompts 1 day ban on entry of trucks from Friday night

While the Air Quality Index (AQI) value was recorded at 330 on Wednesday, it deteriorated on Thursday and plunged to 444.

delhi Updated: Jan 04, 2019 09:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Security personnel walk amid heavy fog and smog conditions in New Delhi on January 3, 2019.
Security personnel walk amid heavy fog and smog conditions in New Delhi on January 3, 2019. (AFP)
         

The air quality continued to hover in the ‘severe’ zone for the second consecutive day on Thursday in Delhi, prompting authorities to ban the entry of trucks into the national capital for a day.

Delhi had encountered at least six severely polluted days in January 2016. The next year, 2017, the pollution levels didn’t breach the severe mark in the month of January. In January 2018, the city witnessed at least three days in which the air quality was in the severe zone in January. Weather officials said a spell of rain over the weekend may help in cleaning the air.

While the Air Quality Index (AQI) value was recorded at 330 on Wednesday, it deteriorated on Thursday and plunged to 444.

The concentration of particulate matter in the National Capital Region has been hovering in the emergency zone for more than 48 hours.

The Supreme Court appointed body Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) on Thursday banned the entry of trucks into Delhi for 24 hours from 11pm on Friday.

“Citizens have also been advised to avoid using personal vehicles and prolonged exposure to such unhealthy air as high levels of pollution can affect healthy people,” said Sunita Narain, member of EPCA.

According to air quality early warning system, pollution levels are expected to drop on Friday as the wind speed in picking up. The AQI is, however, expected to remain in the ‘very poor’ zone.

 

“The IMD has forecast that there could be light rainfall and thundershowers on Sunday which could further help to bring down pollution levels,” said a Central Pollution Control Board official.

On Thursday, the night temperature was recorded at 6.7 degrees Celsius, one degree below normal. The day temperature stood at 20.5 degrees Celsius, which was one degree above normal. While the night temperature is expected to rise, the day temperature would drop over the weekend.