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Smog-hit Delhi bans entry of trucks, construction works; odd-even on cards

Smog-hit Delhi bans entry of trucks, construction works; odd-even on cards
Highlights

With the toxic haze situation worsening in the national capital, the -'Graded Response Action Plan-' came into force in Delhi on Wednesday.

With the toxic haze situation worsening in the national capital, the 'Graded Response Action Plan' came into force in Delhi on Wednesday.

The authorities ordered an immediate halt on civil construction works and banned the entry of trucks, except those carrying essential commodities, in the national capital.

The decisions came into force after it was approved by Lt Governor Anil Baijal in a meeting attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and EPCA (Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority) member Sunita Narain among a host of senior officials.

Interestingly, a decision on whether or not to implement the odd-even car-rationing scheme will be taken tomorrow, sources present in the meeting said.

During the meeting, the Supreme Court-appointed EPCA, which is empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), said it has decided to ramp up the plan to 'severe plus' in view of the prevailing smog episode.

"Emergency meeting on pollution with @ArvindKejriwal. Measures approved include ban on entry of trucks (except carrying essentials), ban on civil construction, school holidays till weekend, hike in parking fees & higher frequency of metro & buses," the LG office tweeted.

Yesterday, the EPCA had directed authorities to implement measures under the GRAP's 'severe' category, including hiking parking fees and introducing differential pricing in public transport.

Apart from Delhi, neighbouring Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Noida were also in the 'severe' category.

Residents of the city complained of heavy breathing and watery eyes as the smog did not even spare living rooms or underground metro stations.

Yesterday, with a score of 448 in a scale of 500, the air quality index was at the year's worst.

The Indian Medical Association had declared a "public health emergency" and appealed to the government to stop outdoor sports and other such activities in schools to protect the health of children.

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