Sunday, December 4, 2022

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Air quality in Delhi-NCR improves a bit but still in poor category

Air pollution: In view of recent improvement in overall air quality in the Delhi-NCR, a Central government panel has revoked Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) stage 4, which means that trucks are no longer prohibited from entering and non-BS 6 diesel light motor vehicles are permitted. However, the current GRAP-3 ban on non-essential construction activities would be maintained.

GRAP Action Plan

The GRAP is an emergency response action plan that has been activated in order to prevent further deterioration of adverse air quality scenarios in the NCR. GRAP stage 3 is still in effect. As a result, the ban on construction and demolition activities in the entire NCR region will remain in effect, with the exception of railway services, metro rail services including stations, and other essential activities.

According to the National Capital Region Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), “State governments in the NCR/ GNCTD may impose restrictions on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel LMVS under Stage III (4 wheelers). Choose a cleaner commute: carpool, take public transportation, walk or cycle to work.”

CAQM report

According to CAQM, the current AQI level in Delhi is around 339, which is about 111 AQI points below the threshold for invoking the GRAP Stage-IV actions (Delhi AQI > 450), and preventive/ mitigating/ restrictive actions under all Stages up to Stage-IV are underway, so the AQI improvement is likely to be sustained. The IMD/ IITM forecast also does not indicate any further steep decline.

Forecasts also indicated a significant improvement around November 5 and November 6, 2022; thus, the sub-Committee decided to review the situation on November 6, 2022, while invoking Stage IV of the GRAP.

Monday Meeting

Following the orders issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region (CAQM) today, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will chair a meeting on Monday to discuss revoking 50% of work from home and reopening primary schools.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry in a statement said, “While comprehensively reviewing the overall air quality parameters of Delhi-NCR, the Commission noted that due to forecast by IMD/ IITM not indicating any steep degradation in the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR in the coming days, it is advisable to relax the restrictions and further roll back Stage IV of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR”.

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