Delhi bans trucks as mega-city chokes

Jan Cross
November 10, 2018

In response, authorities have banned entry of trucks into Delhi from November 8 to 10 under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

Diwali is always one of the worst times of year for air quality, as firework smoke mixes with auto exhaust fumes, factory emissions and construction dust.

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh: The monitoring centre at Talkatora District Industrial Centre in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh recorded literally the worst air in India this morning with an Air Quality Index score of 430 - categorised as "Severe". Around this time a year ago, he declared a public health crisis, shutting down schools for a week and told residents to remain indoors.

Unsafe levels of smog shrouded Delhi and surrounding areas on Thursday after revelers flouted a ban on fireworks - especially firecrackers - to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali. These indices measure the concentration of tiny poisonous particulate matter.

"Despite widespread publicity of the Supreme Court's order by the district administration, some people were found violating the orders and a first information report has been registered against them under the Indian Penal Code's section 188 (disobedience to an order duly promulgated by public servant)", City Magistrate Shailendra Mishra said in a statement. It also stipulated that the fireworks could only be set off between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. - a ruling that appeared to go largely ignored.

"For a few moments of enjoyment people are willing to endanger the planet".

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A man coughs despite wearing a mask a day after Diwali.

For a second year, New Delhi's chief minister has likened the city to a "gas chamber".

Levels of PM2.5 - fine particles linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease - have soared since last month when farmers in Punjab and other nearby states started to burn post-harvest crop residue.

Major monuments in the city, such as India Gate and the Red Fort, were shrouded in a haze of pollution with visibility on major roads reduced to about 50 meters (160 feet).

"I regularly cycle around here and what I can (see) today the pollution has really gone up after Diwali", he said. Pollution levels were highest at Hebbal and Jayanagar.

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