Delhi smog: EPCA measures approved

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The NHRC also criticised authorities for not taking proper steps to tackle the "hazard", amounting to violation of right to life and health.

Primary schools have been ordered closed and outdoor activities for children have been banned in the wake of the pollution. The state can not leave its citizens to die due to the toxic haze. Meanwhile NHRC sends notices to Centre, govts of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana on "life-threatening" pollution in Delhi-NCR.

The secretary, ministry of health and family welfare is expected to provide details about the preparedness of the government hospitals and other agencies to attend to the people affected by pollution and steps taken to create awareness among the public at large.

The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), also directed the states in the region to start preparing for implementing measures like "odd-even" in light of the "crisis situation".

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Proper implementation of environmental laws was necessary, the statement said.

"There is a need for an effective study by the experts and proper implementation of their recommendations, including short term and long term measures identified", the NHRC added. "Right to life is being snatched from people since they're not getting a clean environment", said the NGT.

In the meeting, the measures proposed by the Environment Pollution Prevention & Control Authority (EPCA) - hiking of parking fees by four times in Delhi, stopping of all construction activity, no entry of trucks (except essentials), shutdown of schools for a week, increasing the frequency of public transport and introduction of the odd-even auto rationing scheme - were given a go-ahead.

Proposals of alternative roads to link the highways to avoid entry of the heavy vehicles inside the cities were being contemplated but "no effective steps" in this regard were taken yet, it said.

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Even today the city was enveloped with a thick blanket of haze which hung low over the city leading to a drop in visibility. Yesterday the air quality hit severe levels in New Delhi.

In the NCR, Ghaziabad and Noida were the worst affected locations.

The maximum air quality in the national capital and its nearby areas is hovering between 400-700, which is above the danger level.

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