Mumbai has the dubious distinction of being clubbed with the world's most polluted cities, according to data by Swiss Group IQAir. In fact, Kolkata and Mumbai are among the 5 worst-hit cities with an AQI of 206 and 162, respectively. (The AQI in Colaba was 234 poor on Sunday) It was no consolation for Mumbai that New Delhi has again topped the real-time list with an AQI of 483, followed by Lahore at 371.
100 times the limit deemed to be healthy by the WHO
In fact, the AQI hovered over 550 in some monitoring stations in the national capital region. There was no respite for the national capital with the air quality remaining in the 'severe plus' category for the fourth consecutive day. With the index reaching almost 100 times the limit deemed to be healthy by the World Health Organisation, the Centre has kicked off the stage-IV measures of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
8-point Stage IV measures
For the record, the Stage IV is the highest level of pollution alert under GRAP when the Air Quality Index remains over 450 or in the 'severe plus' category. With that, a crisis plan has been activated in the national capital, which includes putting a stop to construction work, encouraging the use of public transport, and facilitating work from home, when possible.
So, under the 8-point Stage IV measures, entry of trucks into Delhi has been banned, except those carrying essential commodities and all LNG/ CNG/ electric trucks. All construction and demolition activities have been banned in Delhi as well, including public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, over-bridges, power transmission, pipelines, etc.
The government may take a decision on allowing public, municipal and private offices to work at 50% strength and the rest to work from home. The Delhi Government may also take a decision on discontinuing physical classes, even for classes VIIX, class XI, and conducting lessons in online mode.