"If the current situation continues further and the air quality remains adversely impacted falling under the "very poor" category, then according there is no other option but to direct for a complete stop on the use of private and commercial vehicles". This is expected to reduce congestion pollution as trucks can move through the city without halting.
"EPCA has discussed the matter with the traffic police to understand the viability of the directions to allow truck traffic only during daytime between 6 am and 6 pm and has found this unfeasible", Lal said in a letter to Delhi, Haryana and Punjab chief secretaries.
The ban on the entry of heavy vehicles was imposed from November 8 till November 11, but was later extended by a day by the Supreme Court-appointed agency on the recommendations of a Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)-led task force, which reviews the national capital's air quality.
"We have directed for removal of (the) environment compensation charge and toll so that there is no congestion on the entry points and that the accumulated trucks can enter", he said. "The SDMC is directed to issue the necessary orders so that no ECC or toll is collected for this limited period", the letter said. The pollution level is likely to have increased due to unfavourable meteorological conditions like low wind speed, PTI reported.
The index had "severe" readings between Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.
The PM 2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) level on Monday was recorded at 263 while the PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) was recorded at 457.
Twenty one areas in Delhi recorded "very poor" air quality while 14 areas showed "poor" air quality, the CPCB said.
According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), the contribution of stubble burning to the pollution in Delhi has been recorded the least on Wednesday for this month at 3 per cent.
"The stubble-related impact continue to remain nominal due to slow transport height winds", it said.