Delhi continues to choke under the increasing pollution level even as a year went by. The National Capital was engulfed in smog at the break of dawn in the beginning of a new year, falling from 'very poor' category to 'severe' with regards to the air pollution in the city.
The hazardous PM 2.5 was recorded at 308 micrograms per cubic metre and PM 10 at 470 micrograms per cubic metre. According to the Supreme Court appointed panel EPCA, when PM2.5 and PM 10 are recorded over 250 and 400, and persists over 48 hours, strict action has to be taken.
Currently the action imposed on the National Capital is the Graded Response Action Team or GRAP by the EPCA. However, the plans by the National Green Tribunal and the Prime Minister's pollution task force, both of which are fighting for consensus.
This sharp spike in the pollution levels come after November this year, due to which steps like ban on sale of fire crackers was imposed to combat the increasing air pollution. Doctors termed the crisis as health threatening and the Delhi Government came up with suggestions to impose odd-even rule. Parking fees were also hiked to curtail pollution from traffic congestion. Entry of trucks was stopped as well as construction work.
However, as the condition bettered these restrictions were revoked. The recent hike in the level of pollution could also mean a return of the aforementioned restrictions.
As the city was covered in thick smog which adversely affected the visibility, several flights and trains had to be cancelled.