New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday allowed passengers to travel in metro trains and buses while standing in order to encourage people to use public transport systems instead of private vehicles due to the deteriorating air quality in the national capital.

In its order, the DDMA said that metro trains can operate with 100 per cent seating capacity with 30 standing passengers in each coach.

"Intra-State movement of buses (DTC as well as Cluster) permitted with 100 per cent seating capacity of buses along with standing passengers upto 50 per cent of seating capacity of a bus. In case of buses, boarding allowed only from rear door while de-boarding allowed only from front door," the DDMA order read.

All metro and bus services were closed in Delhi after a lockdown was imposed in Delhi to tackle the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, services were later resumed in a phased manner to ensure that cases do not rise again. With the deterioration of air quality in the Delhi-NCR, government officials have been encouraging people to use public vehicles.

On Saturday, Delhi's air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 374 - 'very poor' category - with a concentration of PM10 at 352 and PM2.5 at 218. Weather experts believe that the AQI will likely improve from Sunday due to strong winds.

Meanwhile, the AQI in neighbouring Gurgaon was recorded at 348, Noida at 357, Greater Noida at 320, Ghaziabad at 346 and Faridabad at 347 - all in the 'very poor' category. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma