Indian capital bans entry of heavy vehicles to curb pollution

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/11/10 16:20:01

As the lethal smog continued to envelope the Indian capital for the fourth day in a row, Delhi Friday banned the entry of trucks and other heavy vehicles into the city to curb high pollution levels.

Delhi police said it has sealed all its land borders with neighboring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to stop heavy vehicles from entering the city.

"On all borders, we have deployed our traffic staff and local police. We are checking all vehicles and directing them to return from Delhi borders. We are in liaison with neighbouring states too," Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police D.K. Gupta told the media.

The Delhi police, however, made it clear there is no such entry ban on heavy vehicles carrying essential commodities to the national capital. "Vehicles with essential commodities are not being restricted by us," Gupta said.

Pollution levels are 30 times the World Health Organisation's recommended limit in some areas of the national capital. And Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has already likened the city to a "gas chamber".

The Delhi government on Thursday announced the return of the odd-even car rationing scheme in the wake of the worsening air quality in the city. Under the scheme, private cars with odd and even number plates will be allowed to ply on alternate days.

The scheme will come into effect Monday for a week and the Delhi government claims it will cut down vehicular pollution to half, one of the major sources of pollution. The scheme was trialled last year also, but its effect on pollution is still not clear.

Meanwhile, schools have been shut in the Indian capital, construction activities temporarily banned and car parking charges hiked four-fold to discourage residents from driving their cars and encourage them to use public transport.

Delhi witnesses high pollution levels every year in winter mainly due to farmers in the neighbouring northern state of Punjab and Haryana burning crop stubble to clear their fields.

Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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