New Delhi, Nov 7:
Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday ordered de-registration of diesel vehicles that are 15 years old or more to battle unprecedented smog levels that have turned the national capital into a virtual “gas chamber”.
The decision will apply to about two lakh diesel vehicles on Delhi roads, a statement from Jung’s office said.
Jung also banned bursting of firecrackers during weddings and other social occasions and ordered shutting down of all polluting industries in Delhi.
A statement from Jung’s office said the firecracker ban will not apply to religious functions.
The decisions were taken at a meeting at the Raj Niwas here to discuss the serious air pollution levels in Delhi.
Jung also ordered no entry into Delhi for overloaded trucks and those not destined for the national capital with immediate effect.
The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain and Environment Minister Imran Hussain, apart from senior government officials.
Kejriwal had described the high pollution levels in the capital as like a “gas chamber”.
Environmental experts Sunita Narain and Anumita Roy from Centre for Science and Environment and Prof. Manju Mohan from Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi also participated.
“In two days, a system to turn away overloaded and trucks not destined for Delhi will be worked out,” the statement said.
Jung emphasised the need to take extraordinary measures to tackle pollution and said all concerned must come together on the issue.
He said measures announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday to curb pollution should be immediately implemented.
The Delhi government on Sunday unveiled a slew of steps, including closure of all schools for three days and a ban on construction and demolition work for five days.
Jung ordered municipal authorities and Delhi Police to ensure strict enforcement of the ban and extended it till November 14.
“The Delhi government shall be issuing advertisements to this effect,” the statement said.
Jung ordered strict enforcement of the ban on burning of dry leaves and garbage in the open, asking the agencies concerned to intensify their drive and take action against violators.
Municipal authorities were asked to take all measures to control fires at landfill sites.
The national capital continued to suffer from “severe” air quality on Monday, though the smog cover thinned somewhat.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research showed that PM2.5 and PM10 breached the 500 mark in most locations on Monday afternoon as well.
Particulate Matter less than 10 micrometres in diameter (PM10) is so small that it can get into lungs, likely causing serious health problems.
Particulate Matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) is produced by burning fuels. (IANS)