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It’s an air emergency in the Delhi

Experts recommend implementation of more GRAP measures in the national capital, Kejriwal says govt doing all it can to combat pollution

Published: 31st October 2019 11:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st October 2019 11:10 AM   |  A+A-

A thick blanket of smog shrouds the Akshardham temple in New Delhi on Wednesday. The air quality, which slipped to the ‘severe’ category in several parts of the city, has been rendered worse due to stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

A thick blanket of smog shrouds the Akshardham temple in New Delhi on Wednesday. The air quality, which slipped to the ‘severe’ category in several parts of the city, has been rendered worse due to stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  With pollution on the rise and the city literally gasping for air, the national capital could soon see the implementation of more measures recommended under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). Some GRAP measures are already in force in the city. With the air quality slipping to ‘severe’ category post-Diwali, experts said it was time for the government to implement all measures recommended under GRAP.

ALSO READ | Diwali pollution lowest in 5 years: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

“The air quality has turned ‘severe’ in many areas. All GRAP measures should be implemented without hindering essential services. While the government has put a stop to construction work at night, it must also crackdown on garbage burning in the open, as well as industrial emissions.

For the implementation of the ‘Odd-Even’ scheme, the government has to be ready with additional public transport. It also has to prepare for a response if the air quality breaches the emergency level,” Vivek Chattopadhyay, senior programme manager (Clean Air Program), told this newspaper.

Water from a tanker being sprinkled on a Noida street on Wednesday to curb air pollution. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

As per data released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), air quality in the city has been in the ‘severe’ category since Diwali night. Anand Vihar was the most polluted part of the city on Wednesday, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) reading of 466.

Wazirpur, Bawana, Ashok Vihar, DTU and Mundka followed closely with AQI counts of 460, 456, 455, 438 and 434 respectively.

If the air quality drops below the ‘severe’ category, the GRAP recommendations include closing of brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushing units, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said, “We’re doing what we can to reduce pollution. We have set up many panels to monitor air quality and suggest remedial measures. We’ve started procuring 50 lakh N95 pollution masks to be given to students.”

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