The Environment Pollution - Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) has recommended a series of measures including slashing of Metro fares during off-peak hours and quadrupling of parking fees temporarily to tackle the severe pollution crisis in Delhi, the capital city of India.
The measures were announced by EPCA chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narain under the Graded Response Action Plan. Delhi has been enveloped by a choking blanket of smog for the second consecutive day with air quality hitting the severe category.
• The EPCA has instructed the Delhi Metro to lower fares during off-peak hours for at least 10 days and introduce more coaches and frequent services.
• It has also instructed Delhi and its neighbouring states including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana to strengthen their public transport system by introducing more buses.
• Further, the green body has ordered the municipal bodies in the region to increase parking fees in Delhi-NCR by four times.
• It has also directed a fine of Rs 50,000 on road construction agencies violating dust pollution norms in Delhi-NCR.
• It has also issued warnings to the Delhi-NCR governments to start preparing for extreme measures such as ordering a blanket ban on construction activities and imposing the odd-even rule if the pollution situation aggravates.
• Other measures recommended by the body include complete closure of brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers across the region till further notice.
The pollution levels in the capital city have breached permissible standards by multiple times. The situation has reportedly been triggered by the mixing of local pollutants with smoke-laden air from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana and the moisture-heavy winds from the eastern region.
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