New plan to tackle severe pollution in Delhi this winter. Details here

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Delhi and neighboring cities face increased pollution levels during the winter months. (Representative)

New Delhi:

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has revamped the Graduated Response Action Plan – a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in and around Delhi depending on the severity of the situation.

The review is part of a policy formulated by the CAQM to reduce the threat of air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

The Graduated Response Action Plan (GRAP), notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2017, comes into effect in mid-October when air pollution levels in the region start to rise. aggravate.

The GRAP for the National Capital Region (NCR) has now been categorized into four different stages of poor air quality in Delhi: Stage I – “Poor” (AQI 201-300); Stage II – “Very low” (AQI 301-400); Stage III – “Severe” (AQI 401-450); and Stage IV – ‘Severe’ (AQI > 450).

The revised GRAP recommends a ban on charcoal and firewood, including in tandoors of hotels, restaurants, open restaurants; and on diesel generators, except for phase I emerging and essential services.

If the situation becomes “severe” (Phase III), the authorities will have to apply a ban on construction and demolition activities in the NCR, with the exception of essential projects (such as railways, metros, airports, ISBTs, national security/state defense projects). importance) and non-polluting activities such as plumbing, carpentry, interior decorating and electrical work.

Brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers that do not run on clean fuels, as well as mining and related activities in the NCR will also be banned under Phase III.

“Delhi-NCR state governments may impose restrictions on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel (four-wheeler) light-duty motor vehicles under Stage III,” the policy document reads.

Measures to be followed in the “emergency” or Phase IV include a ban on entry of trucks into Delhi and a ban on the movement of Delhi-registered medium and heavy duty vehicles in the nation’s capital. except for those dealing with basic necessities.

The use of four-wheeled light diesel vehicles, except for BS-VI vehicles and vehicles assigned to essential services, will also be banned in Delhi and border districts of the NCR.

Phase IV will also involve a ban on dirty fuel industries and C&D (construction and demolition) activities in linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, bridges, power transmission and pipelines. .

“State governments may consider allowing 50% of staff to work from home in public, municipal and private offices, and additional emergency measures such as the closure of educational institutions and the circulation of vehicles on a odd, etc.”, he said.

Actions under Stages II, III and IV will need to be taken at least three days before the Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches the projected levels of this stage.

Previously, authorities waited for the concentration of PM 2.5 or PM 10 to reach a particular threshold.

In the “more severe” category, the agencies waited for PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentrations to remain above 300 and 500 micrograms per cubic meter for 48 hours or more before implementing the measures prescribed by the GRAP.

“The proposed restrictions should be gradual from a lower stage to a higher stage, i.e. the restrictive actions taken in accordance with the previous stages should be continued, in addition to the air pollution stage during from which the restrictive measures are contemplated to be taken,” the policy said. said.

The GRAP Sub-Committee will meet frequently to plan prior actions and issue necessary orders to invoke various provisions of the GRAP, depending on the prevailing air quality and AQI forecasts that will be provided by the Department of Indian Meteorology (IMD) from time to time. .

The policy was developed after the Supreme Court in December last year ordered the CAQM to invite suggestions from the general public and experts in the field to find a permanent solution to the threat of air pollution. at Delhi-NCR.

Experts had suggested proactive implementation of GRAP measures based on air quality forecasts, rather than implementing them retroactively once acceptable levels are exceeded.

The policy contains sector-specific recommendations for agencies and departments of central government, NCR states and Delhi to prevent, control and reduce air pollution in the NCR from industries, vehicles, construction and demolition, dust from roads and open areas, municipal solid waste. burning, burning of crop residues, among others.

It also covers thermal power plants, clean fuels and electric mobility, public transport, road traffic management, diesel generators, the bursting of firecrackers and the reduction of air pollution by the greening and planting.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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