09:20 GMT +314 November 2019
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    Smog and dust in New Delhi

    Indian Government Says Country's North Is Under Emergency Due to Air Pollution

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Indian government held on Sunday a high-level meeting to discuss the environmental situation in the northern part of the country, which was described by the cabinet as an emergency.

    The Indian capital of New Delhi, as well as surrounding regions, are currently engulfed in dense smog, caused by stubble burning, busy traffic, industrial production, and poor weather conditions. The city authorities called on people not to leave homes and temporarily closed schools. Some flights were also canceled over the smog.

    “Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. P. K. Mishra held a high-level meeting this evening with the States of Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi to tackle air pollution. The meeting comes in the wake of the increasing air pollution levels leading to an emergency like situation in the NCR [National Capital Region]”, the government said in a statement.

    The government tasked Cabinet Secretary Shri Rajiv Guaba with monitoring the environmental situation in northern territories on a round-the-clock basis.

    “The meeting reviewed the situation arising out of stubble burning, construction activities, burning of wastes and industrial and vehicular pollution. It has been decided that the Cabinet Secretary Shri Rajiv Guaba will monitor the situation with these States on a daily basis. State Chief Secretaries have been asked to monitor the situation in the districts on a 24x7 basis”, the statement said.

    The cabinet also asked the neighboring states to reduce the number of fire incidents and dust levels in the wake of deteriorating weather conditions.

    “About 300 teams have been deployed in the field in the national capital to tackle the challenge of air pollution. The main focus is on 7 Industrial Clusters and major traffic corridors in the NCR. Similar arrangements have also been made by Punjab and Haryana and necessary machinery has been provided in the states”, the government added.

    The environmental situation in India is traditionally poor. According to the Greenpeace and AirVisual analysis of air pollution, issued in March, 22 out of 30 cities with the worst air pollution are located in India. Gurugram, which lies some 20 miles southwest of Delhi, was named the worst polluted city in the world, while New Delhi the worst polluted capital.

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    India, New Delhi, emergency situation
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