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A combination of smoke from the burning of stubble of crops in Punjab and Haryana and the already present and increasing moisture has turned Delhi into a gas chamber.

Today, the Central Pollution Control Board said that the air quality index (AQI) for New Delhi on Wednesday, November 08 2017, has plummeted and is at its worst at 484.  On Tuesday, it had touched 448 in a scale of 500 and had already entered the ‘severe’ category before falling even lower today.

An order came this morning on from Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s office. It said that, the air pollution has become unbearable and is affecting all the residents of the city.  The reason cited for this can be stubble burning in the states of Haryana and Punjab or the vehicular pollution but the fact remains… that it is damaging the health of Delhi’s residents.

On the Yamuna Expressway, several cars piled up due to fog & low visibility. However, any casualties were avoided. According to the police, this incident took place at around 8:30 am, near the Eastern Peripheral Expressway over-bridge, that leads towards Noida from Agra. At this place, around 7 cars smashed into each other, one by one. 4 people were injured and quickly taken to a nearby hospital. On the other side of the same expressway, on the road leading to Agra from Noida, 5 cars smashed into each other due to dense smog.

Mr. Sisodia has said that schools will be closed till this week-end and will re-open on Monday.  This order applies to all government, municipality-run and all the private schools functioning in the National Capital and it applies to all the classes.

According to IANS, around 30 trains coming to Delhi and more than 30 flights landing or taking off from the Delhi airport were delayed today.

The AQI has shown the air quality was severe at 15 monitoring stations and terribly poor in the nearby regions of Anand Vihar.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is looking forward to a meeting with his counterparts in Punjab and Haryana. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss measures to bring down the highly alarming pollution levels.

He said in a tweet that, he is writing letters to Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana and requesting them for a meeting to find solution to the problem of crop burning. The transport department and the traffic police have been ordered to take required action against vehicles which flout pollution control norms in any way.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), located at Indraprastha Marg, has asked the students to claim their right to breathe clean air. The students are urged to wear black masks or handkerchiefs on Monday, November 13, during their school’s morning assembly.

Mr. Sisodia said that the government may extend the closure of schools if pollution levels remained severe.

National Weather Forecasting Centre (NWFC) has said that the the dense fog is likely to continue for three more days. This will reduce visibility in the forenoon as conditions then are highly favourable for the formation of fog.

A combination of smoke from the burning of stubble of crops in Punjab and Haryana and the already present and increasing moisture has turned Delhi into a gas chamber. This has prompted the authorities to announce a series of preventive measures. These measures include a four-fold hike in parking fees and the slashing of metro fares.

 

-Archit