Govt invokes GRAP-II as air quality worsens in Delhi: Here’s what will change for Delhiites

  • Delhi air quality: The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) was seen in action on Saturday as the Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 248 and its sub-committee decided to invoke Stage II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)

Livemint
First Published21 Oct 2023
Delhi air quality: Commuters out on a smoggy morning amid rising air pollution at India Gate in New Delhi, India
Delhi air quality: Commuters out on a smoggy morning amid rising air pollution at India Gate in New Delhi, India(Hindustan Times)

The air quality of Delhi-NCR has worsened in the past few days and as per the India Meteorological Department and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, it may reach the “Very Poor” category in the next 3-4 days. The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) was seen in action on Saturday as the Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 248 and its sub-committee decided to invoke Stage II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

The decision of the CAQM comes as the air quality of Delhi has worsened over the past few days and is expected to dip further as winter sets in India prepares for various festivals. The AQI is close to the “Very Poor” category of (301-400) and is expected to touch these levels by Monday or Tuesday.

What changes in Delhi-NCR after Stage-II of GRAP?

Delhi Pollution Control Board and other pollution control boards in the NCR region are responsible for the implementation of guidelines of GRAP which may include more intense steps at higher levels like a ban on construction activity in the capital region, closure of educational institutions, ban on entry of heavy vehicles, etc.

Also Read: Amid Mumbai's worsening air quality, BMC warns to halt construction sites

Under GRAP II, the government takes steps like increasing the parking fees to discourage the use of personal vehicles and increasing the frequency of CNG/Electric buses and metros.

GRAP Stage-II guidelines for citizens

1. People to use public transport and minimize the use of personal vehicles.

2. Use technology, and take less congested routes even if slightly longer.

3. Regularly replace air filters at recommended intervals in your automobiles.

4. Avoid dust-generating construction activities during the months of October to January.

5. Avoid open burning of solid waste and biomass.

11-point action plan under GRAP-II

1. Carry out mechanical/ vacuum sweeping and water sprinkling of the identified roads on a daily basis.

2. Ensure water sprinkling along with the use of dust suppressants (at least every alternate day, during non-peak hours) on roads to arrest road dust, especially at hotspots, heavy traffic corridors, vulnerable areas, and proper disposal of dust collected in designated sites/landfills.

3. Intensify inspections for strict enforcement of dust control measures at C&D sites.

4. Ensure focused and targeted action for abatement of air pollution in all identified hotspots in NCR. Intensify remedial measures for the predominant sector(s) contributing to adverse air quality in each of such hotspots.

5. Ensure uninterrupted power supply to discourage the use of alternate power Generating sets/ equipment (DG sets etc.).

6. Strictly implement the schedule for regulated operations of DG sets across all sectors in the NCR including Industrial, Commercial, Residential, and offices, etc. in accordance with Direction No. 76 dated 29.09.2023.

7. Synchronize traffic movements and deploy adequate personnel at intersections/traffic congestion points for a smooth flow of traffic.

8. Alert in newspapers / TV/radio to advise people about air pollution levels and Do’s and Don’ts for minimizing polluting activities.

9. Enhance Parking fees to discourage private transport.

10. Augment CNG/ electric bus and metro services by inducting additional fleets and increasing the frequency of service.

11. Resident Welfare Associations to necessarily provide electric heaters to security staff to avoid open Bio-Mass and MSW burning during winters.

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