Haryana announces measures to curb air pollution, shuts schools in 4 districts

IN ORDER to curb the rising air pollution in districts around the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the Haryana government on Sunday issued a detailed set of instructions for four districts — Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat and Jhajjar.

Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan has ordered all government and private schools to stay close till November 17, when the situation will be reviewed again.

The orders said: “With an aim to reduce 30 per cent plying of vehicles on roads that will impact vehicular emissions and also reduce dust in the air, all government and private offices are advised to do work from home. Vehicles older than 10/15 years (diesel/petrol) respectively shall be strictly checked with regard to emissions and impounded accordingly.”

“There shall be complete ban on all type of construction and development activities. Mechanised stone crushers and hot mix plants used in construction activities shall be closed…No trash burning by municipal bodies shall be allowed. Stubble burning shall be prohibited. No manual sweeping of roads shall be allowed. To control dust pollution, water sprinkling on the roads shall be done.”

Directions issued to deputy commissioners say: “DCs shall constitute joint inspection teams for enforcing the above directions/instructions and shall ensure extensive checking, monitoring and action against the violators as per law/rules/instructions/ directions issued from time to time by Government of Haryana.” 

The guidelines will come into force with immediate effect and remain operation till November 17.
10 days after Diwali, AQI ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ in Haryana towns

TEN DAYS have passed since Diwali, but the air quality continues to vary from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ in most Haryana towns.

When the air quality was measured in 24 towns of Haryana at 4 pm Sunday, AQI (air quality index) was found to be ‘satisfactory’ only in Panchkula and Palwal, while Mewat (Mandikhera) was in the ‘moderate’ category.

Even in towns that fall in the ‘moderate’ category (101-200 AQI), people are experiencing “breathing discomfort with lungs, asthma and heart diseases’. According to officials, breathing discomfort experienced by people after prolonged exposure is observed if the AQI falls to 201-300 in the ‘poor’ category. ‘Very poor’ category (AQI value of 301-400) causes respiratory illness on prolonged exposure while ‘severe’ air quality (401-500) affects even healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

As per the AQI bulletin of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Sunday, Haryana’s Manesar, Rohtak, Panipat, Kaithal, Jind, Charkhi Dadri and Ballabgarh were found in the category of ‘very poor’ AQI while Gurgaon, Faridabad, Dharuhera, Fatehabad, Hisar, Ambala, Bahadurgarh, Bhiwani, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Narnaul, Sirsa, Sonipat and Yamunanagar were found in the category of ‘poor’ AQI.  

Ahead of Diwali (November 4), Haryana authorities had put a ban on sale and use of fire crackers in 14 NCR districts — Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Jhajjar, Jind, Karnal, Mahendragarh, Nuh, Palwal, Panipat, Rewari, Rohtak and Sonipat — out of total 22 districts of the state. However, when the air quality was measured on November 5, the authorities found that Diwali firecrackers had affected the air quality badly with an increase in the pollution level in almost all towns of Haryana. Then Jind, Gurgaon and Faridabad were found to be the most polluted cities with AQI of ‘poor to severe’ in 23 towns except Panchkula. 

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