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Delhi air deteriorates: Primary schools shut till Sunday, govt may bring back odd-even

The Indian Medical Association described the condition as a "public health emergency"

BS Web Team & Agencies 

A traffic policeman discharges his duty as India Gate is enveloped in dense smog, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
A traffic policeman discharges his duty as India Gate is enveloped in dense smog, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

Winter is here and so is the pollution! The pollution level in Delhi increased further on Wednesday, leaving millions of people with severe health hazards. The city's air quality index (AQI) touched 448, as per CPCB, worse than the 403 reading Delhi had recorded a day after Diwali, according to a report in the Times of India. People roaming around with masks have once again become a familiar scene. The described the condition as a "public health emergency". Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia ordered all primary schools to remain shut till Sunday. A year ago, government faced the same problem.

So this time they are being careful with their moves. Here are some others measures taken by the government to curb the increasing pollution The state government had also issued a health advisory for high-risk people, including children, the elderly, pregnant women and those suffering from asthma and heart ailments. Vehicle emissions and dust from construction sites were the main factors behind the thick smog and pollution. The government may suspend construction activity or entry of trucks from outside if the pollution level rises. Sisodia told the Indian Express, “If the need arises and the situation worsens, the government is ready to go ahead with measures such as banning the entry of trucks, construction and implementing the Odd-Even formula for vehicular movement.” The odd-even rule may come back soon in the city, wherein cars with odd-numbered registration would ply on odd dates and those with even-numbered registration would do so on even dates. Last year, the government tried to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan never worked out. This year, the government has proposed the possibility of “reducing dust by watering Delhi from a helicopter” to the union minister Harsh Vardhan, the Indian Express reports.

First Published: Wed, November 08 2017. 13:39 IST