A public health emergency has been declared in Delhi and nearby areas by the pollution body mandated by the Supreme Court. The national capital has been choked post-Diwali with the rise in the level of smog (mix of smoke and fog) making it difficult for the residents of NCR (National Capital Region) to breathe.
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has also banned construction activity till November 5 as the pollution level in the region entered the "severe-plus" or "emergency" category late Thursday night, the first time since January.
Earlier in the morning, Arvind Kejriwal described the city as a "gas chamber" while his government distributed breathing masks to school children.
The rise in pollution has been due to thousands of farmers burning crop stubble in the neighbouring states of Punjab & Haryana. This, in return, sends the big clouds of smoke across north India resulting in overall air-quality coming down drastically.
In the last 48 hours, emergency measures have been taken like banning of construction activity, shutting down of schools (which now will remain closed till 5th November) and earlier, odd-even car rationing scheme and ban on the sale of crackers and entry of trucks in the NCR.