Air quality dips to ‘severe’ at many places in Delhi-NCR, bar on commercial BS-III, BS-IV vehicles

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New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) The Air Quality Index at several spots in Delhi and its surrounding areas fell to the “severe” category on Monday.

With the air quality worsening, the Delhi government on Monday decided to impose a temporary ban on using BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in the national capital from Tuesday.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi deteriorated to 395 under the “very poor” category, with some parts of the national capital recording AQIs over 400 or “severe”.

The AQI at the IGI Airport, Delhi University, and Pusa Road were the highest at 438, 415 and 404, respectively, under the “severe” category, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

Dhirpur, Ayanagar, and Lodhi Road reported AQIs at 391, 379, and 377, respectively, under the “very poor” category.

The AQI in Noida reached 424 or “severe”, while in Gurugram, the AQI on Monday evening was 360 or “very poor”.

SAFAR has predicted that the overall AQI in the national capital will be in the “severe” category on Tuesday.

The air quality had suddenly and unexpectedly deteriorated owing to dense foggy conditions without much sunlight and very low temperatures, coupled with calm winds and stable atmospheric conditions, said experts.

According to order released by Delhi Transport Department in Monday, the Sub-Committee for operationalisation of the revised GRAP has reviewed the air quality scenario as well as the forecasts for meteorological conditions and Air Quality Index in Delhi.

“As per directions as provided under Stage III of the revised GRAP and under Section 115 of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, it is hereby ordered that there shall be restrictions to ply BS-III, Petrol and BS-IV, Diesel LMVS (4 Wheelers) in NCT of Delhi, with immediate effect, till dated 12:02:23 or till downward revision in GRAP stage, whichever is earlier (except for vehicles deployed in Emergency Services, Police vehicles & Govt. vehicles used for Enforcement),” stated the order.

“An BS-III Petrol and BS-IV Diesel LMV (4 wheeler) found plying on roads will be prosecuted under section 194(1) of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 which provides a fine of Rs. 20,000,” stated the order.A

The doctors that with pollution levels in the city at an all-time high, Delhi residents are at a high risk of respiratory and cardiovascular ailments, more so, in people with allergies.

“It is important to limit exposure and using masks as the first line of defence is your best bet for protection. Make sure you upgrade your cloth mask to one with a better filtration mechanism like an N95 or FFP2 S to keep out all kinds of particulate matter as well as infection causing germ,” a doctor suggested.

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