9000 face masks… CISF arsenal to combat toxic air in Delhi

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: A man takes protection against pollution as smog covers India Gate in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI Photo

Photo – PTI

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), ace central security agency guarding the Delhi airport, Delhi metro, central ministry buildings and host of other government installations has a challenge up front to preserve the health of its security personnel combating Delhi’s deadly air quality.

With pollution levels getting worse, the CISF today ordered issuance of over 9,000 face masks for its personnel.

A senior officer of the paramilitary force said CISF Director General (DG) OP Singh has ordered for the issuance of the masks so that the men and women of the force out in the open, could better combat the severe toxic smog.

“While 2,000 protective face masks are being issued immediately, 7,000 more will be sent to all the units in Delhi in the next few hours,” he said.

The force had undertaken a similar measure last year too in November when a toxic smog engulfed Delhi.

New Delhi: A Tri-Cyclist pedals through an empty road during morning fog in New Delhi, Nov 7, 2017. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: A Tri-Cyclist pedals through an empty road during morning fog in New Delhi, Nov 7, 2017.
Photo – PTI

A blanket of thick haze enveloped Delhi this morning, as pollution levels breached the permissible standards by multiple times. The development has even alarmed the state government with Chief Minister contemplating shutting schools for few days.

In a related development, smog hampered visibility at the Delhi airport this morning, affecting flight operations and leading to delays by up to two hours as only one of the three runways could be used.

Sources at the Indira Gandhi International Airport said that due to low visibility on the shorter runway 9/27, they could only use runway 10/28 in the morning. The third runway 11/29 is shut from today for three days for maintenance.

The official added that the second runway was opened after visibility improved.

According to officials of the India Meteorological Department, runway visibility between 7am and 8am was less than 200 metres and improved around 11am.

The smog has added to the woes of people flying in and out of Delhi as the airport is operating at 70 per cent of its capacity because of maintenance work on one of its runways.

The airport will be handling 800 flights per hour instead of 1,100 as airlines were told to curtail operations for three days. This means passengers will have fewer flight options to book as well as an increase in demand from travellers.

(With inputs form PTI)