NEW DELHI: On Diwali morning, Delhi's air quality improved to 'unhealthy' at several places as winds continued to blow across the region. The overall air quality index remained in poor category at 278 on Wednesday.
Authorities are currently bracing for the morning after Diwali. Delhi's air quality is expected to deteriorate to 'severe plus emergency' category on Thursday, the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said.
Following pollution watchdog Central Pollution Control Board's recommendation, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority banned the entry of trucks into the city between November 8-10. However, trucks carrying essential commodities will be exempt from the ban, the EPCA said in the directive issued to the Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.
Meanwhile, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain requested citizens to celebrate a cracker-free Diwali.
"I would like to take this occasion to share with the residents of the national capital, the existing ambient air quality position and would like to request the residents to persuade their near and dear ones for desisting from bursting fire crackers and convince their children about the importance of a green and clean Diwali," he said.
On Monday, the national capital recorded its worst air quality of the season with pollution levels eight times the permissable limit as a thick haze engulfed the city.
CPCB has also recommendationed a strict vigil on waste dumping and burning, intensification of efforts by traffic police to deal with traffic congestion, continuation of measures recommended by the task force, like ban on construction activities and shutting down coal and biomass based industries. It also appealed to people to avoid the use of diesel private cars.