With Delhi choking on smog and worsening air pollution, the Delhi Police, on the instructions of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), has issued a ban on all heavy and medium vehicles entering the city from Thursday night, starting 11pm.
The ban will remain effective till November 11, according to a statement by the Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic.
Here are the details.
Essential goods are exempted from the ban
#UPDATE from Joint CP Traffic Delhi: Heavy and medium goods vehicles will not be allowed to enter Delhi from 11 pm tonight. Ban to continue till 11 pm on 11th November and not 11th December. Essential goods exempted. https://t.co/XLHYPCNAgy
Air quality had already been oscillating between 'poor' and 'sever plus emergency level' since the beginning of November.
To add to Delhi's woes, Diwali celebrations worsened the air pollution, and the air quality index (AQI) post-Diwali hit 999 in many parts of the city, several times higher in magnitude than even the 'hazardous' category.
With the onset of winter, it's expected to get worse.
Bans on entry of vehicles isn't uncommon for Delhi
Bans on entry of heavy and medium vehicles is nothing new for Delhi, though.
In both 2016 and 2017, a ban was issued on the entry of tempos, trucks, and lorries from 11pm to 7am.
The rationale behind the bans was to prevent the accumulation of PM2.5 particles during night time, when temperatures are low and air movement is minimal.
Separately, the odd-even policy could make a comeback
The three-day ban on the entry of heavy and medium vehicles apart, the Delhi government is also mulling re-introducing its controversial odd-even vehicle policy to control pollution.
Earlier, the government had issued temporary bans on polluting construction activities, and had advised the use of only public transport.
Additionally, given air quality levels, the government has also advised people, especially children, to wear pollution face-masks.