Indian city bans trucks due to winter smog

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 10, 2018

On Friday, levels of particulates 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, the most harmful to human health, peaked at 845, according to the U.S. embassy website that monitors air quality independently.

The overall AQI on Thursday was recorded in the "severe plus emergency" category at 642 in Delhi, according to Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) data.

With air quality in areas breaching levels that are beyond hazardous, it's time to be aware, to know what you are breathing and how your lungs are getting clogged.

Early morning ambient air quality readings in Delhi - the world's most polluted major city, according to the World Health Organisation - touched 526, according to the USA embassy in the city which independently monitors pollution levels. A "severe plus emergency" level AQI essentially means that even healthy people may suffer from respiratory illnesses on prolonged exposure.

The court also ruled that firecrackers could only be set off between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm, but their bangs were still reverberating around city neighbourhoods well after midnight.

"This year, Diwali day shows that the PM10 and PM2.5 values have increased this year compared to 2017". In recent weeks Delhi doctors have reported an increase in the number of patients with respiratory problems due to a rise in pollution levels from burning crop residue, vehicle exhausts and industrial gases. The AQI rose from 281 at 7 pm to 291 an hour later and by 10 pm, it was 296, said the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The government has said that the authorities are taking measures to curb the air pollution levels including banning trucks from entering the national capital till December.

The entry of heavy and medium goods vehicles into the national capital has already been banned for three days beginning 11 pm on Thursday night as a measure to check air pollution in Delhi.

Many others said the ceaseless bursting of firecrackers on Diwali night in violation of the court directive has highlighted the difficulties faced by government agencies in enforcing orders when laws are routinely flouted and accentuated the "large gap" between the law and the capacity to enforce it. The US Embassy in the Delhi - which according to the World Health Organization is the most polluted city on Earth - said its readings touched 526.

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