New Delhi: The Supreme Court-mandated anti-pollution authority EPCA on Monday said dirty fuel-based industries in Delhi and its suburbs will remain shut till the morning of November 8.
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority also extended the ban on hot-mix plants and stone-crushers in Delhi-NCR till then. The decision came close on the heels of the Supreme Court banning construction and demolition activities in the region till further orders.
In a letter to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, EPCA chief Bhure Lal said that all coal and other fuel-based industries, which have not shifted to natural gas or agro-residue, will remain shut in Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bahadurgarh, Bhiwadi, Greater Noida, Sonepat, Panipat till the morning of November 8.
In Delhi, industries which have not yet shifted to piped natural gas, will not operate during the period. On Friday, EPCA declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region and banned construction activity till November 5. It had also imposed a complete ban on the bursting of crackers during the winter season.
“According to the Meteorological Department, we are expecting better weather conditions in the next few days, including higher winds and better ventilation, which should improve air quality,” Bhure Lal said.
He reiterated the urgent need to check local sources of pollution from garbage burning to construction dust and dumping of waste. “These measures will go a long way in reducing local pollution and in helping us mitigate air pollution across the region,” he said.
Though pollution levels improved on Monday, they still remained in the “very poor” category. The air quality index on Monday afternoon read 407, a day after pollution levels peaked to a three-year high of 494. It improved further by Monday night to 370, which falls in the “very poor” category.
Increased wind speeds reduced the noxious haze that obscured Delhi’s skies for around a week.