Home / News / India /  Delhi CM to launch 15-point winter action plan to fight air pollution today

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will launch his government's 15-point action plan to fight air pollution in winter today.

While addressing a press conference, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that the Delhi government has made it mandatory to install anti-smog guns at all construction and demolition sites larger than 5,000 square metres.

Action will be taken against project proponents found violating this direction, he said.

Earlier, construction and demolition sites larger than 20,000 were required to install anti-smog guns to control dust pollution.

The winter action plan will focus on stubble management, dust pollution, vehicular emission, open burning of garbage, industrial pollution, pollution hotspots, smog towers, public participation, firecrackers and joint action with neighbouring states among other aspects, he said.

Rai said the revised Graded Response Action Plan — a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in Delhi and its vicinity according to the severity of the situation — will come into force as soon as the Commission for Air Quality Management issues orders in this regard.

To curb air pollution in the national capital, the Delhi government has imposed a complete ban on firecrackers till 1 January, 2023. Apart from this, there will also be a ban on online sale or delivery of firecrackers in the national capital.

Meanwhile, a 'finer' Graded Response Action Plan -- a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in the national capital and its vicinity according to the severity of the situation -- will come into from October 1 and environment experts believe advance action this year will lead to lesser incidences of severe pollution.

Earlier, GRAP would come into effect from October 15.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body established in August 2021, for management of air quality in Delhi-NCR decided to implement GRAP early, considering suggestions from the public and experts that advance action can prevent drastic deterioration in air quality.

Under the revised GRAP, curbs can be imposed on polluting activities up to three days in advance based on forecasts.

Earlier, the authorities would implement the measures only after the PM2.5 and PM10 concentration touched a particular threshold.

This time, restrictions will be based on air quality index (AQI) values rather than PM2.5 and PM10 concentration.

In Delhi, officials told news agency PTI that the environment department will be using the new real-time source apportionment system which will help ascertain the contribution of all pollution sources in real time.

The green war room will monitor violations and redress complaints and grievances in keeping with the practice being followed for the last two years.

Dr Mahesh Narang, the head of the farm engineering department at Punjab Agricultural University, said the "finer" GRAP and preemptive curbs will prevent a repeat of the air quality crisis seen on Diwali and the following days last year due to the convergence of emissions from farm fires and firecrackers.

"Stubble burning peaks in November and Diwali is on October 24. This is a crucial factor. So, it may not lead to a severe situation on Diwali provided all other measures are followed strictly," he said.

"The government has provided more machines for the management of stubble this year. We hope for better results," Narang said.

GRAP has now been classified under four different stages of adverse air quality in Delhi: Stage I - 'Poor' (AQI 201-300); Stage II - 'Very Poor' (AQI 301-400); Stage III - 'Severe' (AQI 401-450); and Stage IV - 'Severe Plus' (AQI >450).

(With inputs from PTI)

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