Public health emergency declared in Delhi-NCR, construction banned till November 5

As air quality in Delhi NCR has entered ‘the “severe plus” category, a Supreme Court-mandated panel on Friday declared a public health emergency in the national capital and nearby areas.

Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has prohibited construction activity till November 5.

The pollution authority has also banned the bursting of crackers for the entire winter period.

This is a public health emergency as air pollution is hazardous and will have adverse health impacts on all, predominantly the children, the authority said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the city as a ‘gas chamber’.

The chief minister today distributed masks to schoolchildren as part of the government’s initiative to protect them from pollution and also explained children about stubble-burning.

He also blamed the state governments of Haryana and Punjab – for forcing farmers to burn stubble that he said had led to the problem in Delhi.

Kejriwal said, “Khattar and Captain governments are forcing their farmers to burn stubble, due to which there is heavy pollution in Delhi.”