In view of the slight drop in pollution levels, a top pollution control body also lifted the ban on trucks and construction activity and rolled back the four-fold hike in parking fee with "immediate effect".
On Wednesday, the level of air pollution in Delhi was marked "very poor" instead of "severe" where it has been hovering for 10 days. Around 6 pm on Tuesday, the average level of PM 2.5 -- deadly particulate matter that has diameter less than 2.5mm -- was 351 units, down from over the 450-490 range but still 14 times the safe limit.
Citing the air quality, which showed "severe" pollution levels since November 6, the top medical body had filed an appeal for cancellation of the event. The doctors had asked to the people not to venture outdoors without any pressing need. The Delhi government had seconded the advice, saying the city was resembling a "gas chamber".
A bench had pulled up the Delhi government for failing to take preventive action in time and contested the government's contention that stubble burning by farmers in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh was largely responsible for the crisis.
"There are other elephants in the room," the bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva said and asked the officials to consider the option of cloud seeding -- a process to artificially induce rainfall by spraying chemicals that enrich rain-bearing clouds.
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