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NEW DELHI: Parking fees in Delhi-NCR are set to quadruple while Metro fares during off-peak hours may be slashed temporarily as part of a series of measures recommended by Supreme Court mandated green body EPCA to tackle the pollution crisis.
The Environment Pollution – Prevention and Control Authority said the national capital was facing a “crisis situation”, which is likely to persist for the next few days.
EPCA chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narain announced a series of measures under the Graded Response Action Plan.
EPCA instructed Delhi Metro to lower fares during off-peak hours for at least 10 days, introduce more coaches and frequent services.
The body also instructed Delhi and neighbouring states — Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana — to strengthen the public transport system by introducing more buses.
It ordered municipal bodies in the region to increase parking fees in Delhi-NCR by four times.
Amongst the other measures, it directed a fine of Rs 50,000 on road construction agencies violating dust pollution norms in Delhi-NCR.
The body asked the Delhi-NCR governments to start preparing for measures like odd-even and ban construction activities if pollution aggravates.
The measures also include complete closure of brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers across the region till further notice.
Delhi woke up to ‘severe’ air quality today with a thick haze blanketing the city as pollution levels breached permissible standards by multiple times.
Central Pollution Control Board member secretary A Sudhakar informed EPCA that smoke-laden air from neighbouring Punjab and Haryana and moisture-heavy winds from the eastern region had combined with local pollutants triggering the situation.
“We are not expecting a dramatic change in the next two- three days. Shallow fog is preventing the dissipation of pollutants at the ground level,” Sudhakar said.
The authorities were expecting paddy stubble burning to come down by November 10, but it is not likely to subside before November 15, he added.