The ban on the operation of coal-based units in the National Capital Region and industries in Delhi that do not use piped natural gas was lifted as the air quality improved on Saturday and is expected to improve in the next two days.
At a review meeting of the Central Pollution Control Board-led task force on Saturday, it was also decided that hot mix plants and stone crushers would remain closed in the NCR.
The air quality index in Delhi read 357 at 4pm on Saturday, over 100 notches less than Friday as strong winds abated the smog lingering over the NCR for the past four days.
V K Soni from the India Meteorological Department said at the meeting that the favourable weather would likely to stay till Monday, following which the AQI may enter the higher end of the 'poor' category or lower end of the 'very poor' category.
Soni said the wind direction was northwesterly and surface wind speed was high.
In view of the weather forecast, the task force recommended lifting of the ban on coal-based industries in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Sonepat, and Bahadurgarh, and industries in Delhi that are using fuel other than piped natural gas (PNG).
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority had announced the ban on such units in view of the extreme pollution levels that triggered a public health emergency.
The task force directed the industries to take adequate pollution control measures and comply with the prescribed environmental norms.
Pollution control boards of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, and other implementing agencies have also been asked to ensure regular surveillance and take all necessary action to curb air polluting activities.
The Supreme Court had on November 4 banned construction and demolition activities in the NCR till further orders.
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