NEW DELHI: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday announced emergency measures to reduce pollution and said that there will be 100 per cent work from home (WFH) for the government departments till November 21.
Construction and demolition work has also been banned till November 21 in Delhi, while schools and other educational institutes will remain closed in the national capital until further orders, Rai informed.
Addressing the media after a high-level meeting for strict implementation of the suggestions of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), Rai said, “We have given instructions for a ban on the entry of all vehicles in Delhi, except those involved in essential services. The police department and the transport department will ensure this together.”
“List of more than ten years old diesel vehicles and petrol vehicles over 15 years old has been handed over by Transport dept to Police. They will initiate action over this; their movement will be stopped. Pollution under Control (PUC) certificate checking at fuel stations will be further strengthened,” he added.
The Environment Minister also informed that a Special Task Force of the Traffic Police will be constituted to monitor the traffic congestion so that traffic flow can be made smooth and pollution due to congestion of vehicles can be stopped.
The process to hire 1000 private Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to increase the public transport in Delhi will begin tomorrow, he further informed.
“Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) have written to the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) that the decision of allowing people only by sitting be reviewed. Standing in metro/DTC wasn’t allowed due to COVID,” Rai said.
He also said that as many as 372 water sprinkling tanks are presently operating in Delhi right now.
“Water machines of Fire Brigade will be stationed at 13 hotspots to ensure more water sprinkling. Usage of only gas will be allowed in industries, action will be taken if found to be using polluted fuel,” Environment Minister said.
With regard to the strict implementation of the latest directions issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) to contain air pollution in the National Capital Region and adjoining areas, Rai had convened a high-level meeting at his residence today.
Officials of the Environment Department, Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Police, Traffic Police, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) attended the meeting.
No improvement was witnessed in the air quality of the national capital today as the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi continued to remain in the ‘Very Poor’ category at 387, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board at 10 am. (ANI)