New Delhi: The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has extended the ban on night-time construction in Delhi and surrounding areas like Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Noida till Saturday.
The window of the ban, which starts from 6 pm, has also been increased to 10 am from the earlier 6 am, the Supreme Court-mandated body said on Thursday.
The ban on coal-based industries, barring power plants, in Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Sonepat and Bahadurgarh will also continue till Saturday.
In Delhi, industries that have not shifted to piped natural gas will remain closed during the period, the EPCA said.
The directions come on a slew of recommendations from a Central Pollution Control Board-led anti-pollution task force that reviewed the situation in the National Capital Region on Wednesday.
The EPCA had earlier banned construction and operation of hot mix plants and stone crushers from 6pm-6am from October 26-30.
On Thursday, EPCA also directed Punjab and Haryana to take stringent action to curb stubble burning.
According to Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor, SAFAR, the share of smoke from stubble burning had increased to 35 per cent, the season's highest, on Wednesday and the toxic haze shrouding the city could be "purely" attributed to it.
EPCA chairman Bhure Lal also directed implementing agencies to intensify action against burning of garbage, dust from construction and demolition waste, road dust and to strictly enforce the law.
The EPCA chairman said the air quality in the region was "extremely severe" in light of the accumulated load of pollutants because of Diwali, stubble burning and very adverse weather conditions.
"Therefore, there is a need for continued action to combat extremely toxic pollution," he said.