NEW DELHI: The sub-committee of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for air pollution has
issued an order lifting curbs under the ‘very poor’ category including the diesel generators (DG) in Delhi-NCR with ‘immediate effect’.
The sub-committee functioning under the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in NCR and adjoining areas reviewed the status of air quality in Delhi and its satellite towns in a meeting on February 16 where it was decided that since the air quality has been in ‘moderate to poor’ category over the past week, curbs under the ‘very poor’ category be lifted.
“It was observed that the air quality index (AQI) has been in the ‘moderate to poor’ category in the last 4-5 days and a meeting was held to review the same on February 16. As per the inputs received from the representative (India Meteorological Department) during the meeting, air quality in Delhi-NCR is not likely to reach into ‘very poor’ zone and is expected to be better over the coming days due to improved meteorological conditions favouring the dispersion of pollutants,” the order dated February 16 read.
Prashant Gargava, chairperson of the sub-committee said, “Based on this forecast and prediction, the sub-committee has decided that the measures under ‘very poor’ category of GRAP including the ban on DG sets in Delhi-NCR be lifted with ‘immediate effect’.
However, the sub-committee has asked implementing agencies in Delhi-NCR to continue with measures under the ‘moderate to poor’ category. These include adequate dust-control measures to be taken at large construction sites, periodic mechanised sweeping of key roads, intensified action at hotspots, clearing of open waste dumping and strict enforcement of pollution control norms in industries, thermal power plants and against visible emissions.
The CAQM had on October 28 last year reiterated the implementation of measures under the ‘very poor’ category, which includes ban on DG sets; stop use of coal/firewood in hotels, industries and augment public transport, among others.
Delhi’s overall AQI on Thursday was 241 in the ‘poor’ zone. According to IMD, due to two more feeble Western Disturbances, weather conditions in Delhi-NCR are likely to have slight digressions. Also, with winter fading away and a further rise in mercury expected, the air quality is likely to remain in the ‘poor’ zone.
Measures to remain in effect under ‘moderate to poor’ category
- Large construction sites to take adequate dust-control measures
- Carry out periodic mechanised sweeping of roads
- Implementing agencies to take intensified action against pollution hotspots
- Strict enforcement of all pollution-control regulations in industries, thermal power plants
- Waste (plastic, debris, etc.) in open areas must be cleared
- Strict vigilance and no-tolerance for visibly polluting vehicles