In response to the severe pollution situation in Delhi, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has introduced the fourth phase of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the National Capital Region (NCR). The CAQM Sub-Committee has decided to enforce an eight-point action plan, as part of Phase IV of GRAP, across the entire NCR with immediate effect.
This additional plan is aimed at preventing further deterioration of air quality and includes the following measures:
1. Trucks transporting essential goods into Delhi are banned, except for those using LNG/CNG/electric fuel.
2. Non-EV/CNG/BS-VI diesel small vehicles registered outside Delhi will not be allowed to enter the city, with exceptions for vehicles involved in essential goods and services.
3. The operation of medium and heavy diesel goods vehicles registered in Delhi is prohibited, except for those involved in essential goods/services.
4. Construction and demolition activities are banned in public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission lines, and pipelines.
5. State governments in the NCR and the Delhi government have the authority to switch classes 6th, 9th, and 11th to online mode, suspending physical classes.
6. NCR State Governments/Delhi Government can opt for a 50% attendance policy in public and private offices, allowing other employees to work from home.
7. The Central Government can make decisions regarding employees working from home in their offices.
8. State governments may consider additional emergency measures, including closing colleges/educational institutions and non-essential commercial entities. An odd-even vehicle scheme may also be implemented.
Gopal Rai, Delhi’s Environment Minister, has convened a meeting of relevant departments to discuss the growing pollution issue and the implementation of GRAP-4. This meeting will include officials from various departments, including Transport, Education, MCD, NDMC, DCB, Revenue, Delhi Police, and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
CAQM has urged NCR residents to cooperate in implementing GRAP and advised that children, the elderly, and individuals with respiratory, heart, cerebrovascular, or other chronic conditions should limit outdoor activities and stay indoors as much as possible. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi’s average Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 454 on Sunday.