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Heavy goods vehicles to be banned from entering Delhi after 11pm for three days

Heavy and medium goods vehicles will be banned from Delhi roads for three days starting 11 pm tonight, the Delhi government said on Thursday after air quality in the national capital deteriorated sharply post-Diwali.

A government order said the Supreme Court mandated Environment Protection (Prevention and Control) Authority, or EPCA, had recommended keeping all trucks out of Delhi for three days after Diwali.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Alok Kumar said, only vehicles carrying essential goods are exempted.

The ban has come at a time when the air quality in the city reached the ‘hazardous’ level due to Diwali, as residents of the national capital woke up to a thick blanket of smog leading to low visibility.

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 8.30 am was recorded at 458, which falls under the ‘severe’ category, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

Last month, the Supreme Court allowed the use of “green” firecrackers for Diwali, but only for two hours in the evening. There were, however, no “green” fireworks available for sale and countless fireworks were let off through the evening.

The government has been unable to enforce a ban on bursting fireworks in most places.

“The Supreme Court order on fireworks was not followed and health warnings from the government were limited to few newspapers and some websites,” Greenpeace campaigner Sunil Dahiya told news agency Reuters.

Tiny particulate matter can cause major health problems.

Adding to the smog has been smoke from the surrounding countryside, where farmers at this time of the year burn the stubble in their fields to prepare for winter sowing. More gentle winds and cool air, which can trap pollution, exacerbate the problem.

First Published: Nov 08, 2018 19:53 IST

Source: HindustanTimes