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Delhi air quality enters red zone: Diesel generators banned, parking fee may be hiked

Air quality in Delhi has entered the red zone as the Graded Response Action Plan came into effect.

Delhi air quality enters red zone: Diesel generators banned, parking fee may be hiked
Delhi's air quality at 1900hrs on Tuesday (17/10) as per data from EPCA website.

New Delhi: Diesel generators in the capital were banned on Tuesday as air quality entered the red zone with two days left for Diwali. The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) issued the ban which, however, exempts Delhi Metro and hospitals. Parking fees may also be hiked.

EPCA chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narain announced the decision following a review meeting here.

The red zone is activated under the Graded Response Action Plan which came into effect in Delhi from Tuesday. Measures under 'Very Poor' and 'Severe' of the plan have come into force and apart from ban on use of diesel generators, parking fees too may see a four-fold hike.

The drop in air quality is a stark warning about how even without fire crackers, pollutants contaminate the environment. Experts - both medical as well as environmental - mostly agree that burning crackers during Diwali further pollutes the air. The Supreme Court earlier this month banned sale of firecrackers to study its impact on air pollution.

The current levels of pollution though may also be a result of farmers in Haryana and Punjab resorting to stubble burning - another major source of high air contamination. In such circumstances, the effect of banning diesel generators, possible hike in parking fees and even other urgent steps remains to be seen.