New Delhi: Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cabinet Secretary of India on Sunday held a high-level meeting through video conferencing with officials from Delhi, Punjab and Haryana over the ongoing pollution crisis in the national capital.
It was decided that while the Cabinet Secretary would monitor the situation on a daily basis, Chief Secretaries of the three states would monitor districts in their respective states on a 24*7 basis.
The development came after Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal, ML Khattar and Captain Amarinder Singh of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab respectively, urged the Centre to step in and call for an urgent meeting to discuss how to resolve the ongoing crisis.
Earlier today, a haze of smog, thicker than that seen in previous days, engulfed Delhi and other cities in National Capital Region (NCR), triggering concern among residents. More than 30 flights were diverted from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, the country’s busiest, to cities like Amritsar, Lucknow and Jaipur, due to poor visibility.
Major pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10, both at 500, continue to remain in ‘severe’ category in the capital’s Lodhi Road area, according to AQI data.
The Delhi government has also released a health advisory for the people.
An unprecedented public health emergency has already been declared in Delhi, where schools have been ordered closed till November 5. Earlier today, the district magistrate (DM) of Noida, too, directed the closure of all schools till the same date.
The Delhi government’s odd-even rationing scheme will be implemented here for the third time, from November 4-15.
Delhi occupies a high spot in the list of world’s most polluted cities. It regularly battles smog after Diwali season due to bursting of crackers during the festival as well as stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab.