Home / News / India /  Delhi implements GRAP-4 guidelines amid rise in pollution; Here's list of ban activities

Delhi continued to remain shrouded in toxic haze on Friday with its air quality dropping further, largely due to the heavy load of smoke from stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana. As per the data by the SAFAR, stubble burning contributed 34% of Delhi's PM 2.5 pollution.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city jumped to 472, the data by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), a forecasting agency under the Union ministry of earth sciences, added.

The SAFAR data noted that in Noida, which is part of the national capital region, AQI stood at 562, while Gurugram's AQI stood at 539.

An AQI above 400 is considered severe. Most of the stations in the capital have an AQI above 300 with the exceptions of a few like Mandir Marg in central Delhi.

Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor.

As per the dynamic model and weather forecast, the overall air quality of Delhi is likely to remain in the 'severe'/ 'severe plus ' category till 5 November, prompting authorities to invoke the final stage of anti-pollution measures.

Anti-pollution curbs in Delhi

Until now Delhi has imposed a ban on construction and demolition activities under the Stage III Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

However, projects related to railway services, metro, airports, and defense activities and linear public projects such as highways, flyovers, etc have been exempted from the ban.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that his government will give 5,000 per month to support construction workers affected by the stoppage in work.

The city government has urged employees to work from home amid the deteriorating air quality. Also, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has appealed to people to share cabs and avoid unnecessary use of private vehicles while commuting.

Besides, parents, environmentalists, and the opposition party have demanded the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government shut down schools. Environmentalist Vimlendu Jha wrote on Twitter, "I know children don’t vote for you, but still, requesting all the chief ministers of Delhi (capital region) to immediately SHUTDOWN all the schools...It's not NORMAL to breathe 500 AQI, not for our children, where every third child already has some pulmonary challenge".

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo has also urged the Delhi government to consider shutting schools in the interest of the children.

Yesterday, Noida and Greater asked to hold classes online for students up to Class 8 till November 8 in view of increasing pollution. The schools have also been told to hold classes for students of Class 9 to 12 online as far as possible. Besides, outdoor activities like sports or meetings will stay completely banned in all schools, the DM said in its order.

What is expected in Delhi if GRAP IV kicks in?

Since the AQI is maintained at "severe" category, the Commission for Air Quality Management is most likely to implement measures under stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will convene a high-level meeting on Friday to discuss the implementation of curbs on polluting activities under the final stage of the GRAP-IV

Here's what all things will be banned in the national capital:

Ban on plying of four-wheeled diesel light motor vehicles in Delhi-NCR; BS-VI, essential and emergency services vehicles exempted.

Ban on Delhi-registered diesel-run medium and heavy goods vehicles in the capital.

Ban on entry of trucks other than electric and CNG ones in Delhi; those carrying essential commodities are exempted.

Closure of all industries that are not running on clean fuels in NCR is ordered, even in areas that do not have PNG infrastructure and supply, other than the fuels as per the standard list of approved fuels for NCR. Industries like milk and dairy units and those involved in manufacturing life-saving medical equipment or devices, drugs, and medicines shall, however, be exempted from these restrictions.

Ban on construction and demolition works in linear public projects such as highways, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, and pipelines in Delhi-NCR.

States to decide on closure of schools, non-emergency commercial activities, an odd-even scheme for vehicles

Central, and state governments may decide on permitting work from home for their employees.

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