NEW DELHI: The Central Pollution Control Board on Thursday said measures listed under the ‘very poor’ category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) would kick in with “immediate effect” in Delhi-NCR. The measures include ban on use of diesel generator (DG) sets, use of coal in eateries etc and augment public transport services among others.
The decision came after the Commission for Air Quality Management’s (CAQM) sub-committee on Thursday reviewed the air quality status as well as meteorological and air pollution forecast made available by the India Meteorological Department.
“It was noted that winds would be northwesterly until the morning of November 1. Further the minimum temperature is likely to drop to 14-15 degrees Celsius, with increased moisture, which is unfavourable for the dispersion of pollutants. It is likely that air quality may fall into the ‘very poor’ zone,” the order dated October 28 said.
These measures are to be taken in addition to those listed under ‘moderate’ to ‘poor’ categories, it said.
As per the CPCB, Delhi’s overall air quality index (AQI) on Thursday was 268, in the higher end of the ‘poor’ category. Scientists and government officials have been warning of a further deterioration in air quality owing to the drop in mercury and the rising instances of farm fires in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.
The GRAP is an emergency action plan for winters to tackle different levels of air pollution. The CAQM recommends the measures to be taken to the central pollution watchdog depending on the pollution situation. The measures range from mechanical sweeping of roads to ensuring water sprinkling along with use of dust suppressants on heavy traffic corridors. .