As the air quality index dropped to “severe” on Thursday, the Commission for Air Quality Management imposed restrictions across the National Capital Region to curb pollution, The Indian Express reported.
In a tweet on Thursday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that all primary schools schools will be closed on November 3 and November 4.
Construction activities, barring essential ones, have been banned. The transport department has said that it will impose a fine of Rs 20,000 on BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel vehicles being used. The restrictions are part of the Stage-3 of the Graded Response Action Plan that kicks in when air quality deteriorates.
The Delhi Metro will take 20 extra trips across its network starting from Friday, in accordance with the action plan.
Air quality plunges in the winter months in Delhi, which is often ranked the world’s most polluted capital. Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, along with falling temperatures, low wind speed and emissions from industries and coal-fired plants contribute to air pollution in the region.
The air quality index, or AQI, dropped from 364 on Wednesday afternoon to 418 by 9 pm on Thursday. An air quality index ranging between 401 and 500 falls under the “severe” category. A reading of above 400 can affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing illnesses.
As of 9 am on Friday, the AQI further deteriorated to 471, according to Central Pollution Control Board data.