Home / News / Revamped anti-air pollution measures to be in place in Delhi from Oct 1

Revamped anti-air pollution measures will be in place in Delhi from October 1 ahead of the winters and following the withdrawal of monsoon and stubble burning by the farmers in Punjab. To tackle air pollution, Delhi is set to implement the revamped Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

The plan will come into force 15 days before the usual time to control the build-up of pollutants, according to the directions of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).

"We will be also making use of the real-time source apportionment system which will help understand the real-time effect of pollution sources like vehicles, road dust, construction dust, biomass burning, farm fires, and industrial emissions," an official said.

The green war room will monitor violations and redress complaints and grievances in keeping with the practice being followed for the last two years. The official said that a decision is yet to be taken on the re-implementation of the ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign.

The campaign ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ was first launched on October 16, 2020 to cut down vehicular pollution by turning off the engine while waiting for the traffic light to turn green.

The official said the "complete ban" on firecrackers will also cover Dussehra festivities. On 10 September, the Delhi government had announced a blanket ban on the storage and manufacturing of firecrackers till January 1, 2023. 

The revised GRAP, which is part of a new policy formulated by the CAQM to abate air pollution in Delhi-NCR, focuses on proactive implementation of the curbs based on forecasts -- restrictions can be imposed up to three days in advance.

Earlier, the authorities would implement the anti-pollution measures only after the PM2.5 and PM10 concentration touched a particular threshold. This time, the anti-pollution measures would be implemented 15 days before the scheduled time.

The revamped plan also entails a ban on BS IV four-wheeler diesel vehicles. However, those engaged in essential services would be barred in Delhi and the bordering districts of NCR. This only if the air quality index (AQI) breaches the 450-mark.

The Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2017, would come into force from October 15 when air pollution levels start worsening.

The GRAP for the National Capital Region (NCR) 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).

The revamped GRAP also recommends a ban on the use of coal and firewood. Coal and firewood would be banned in tandoors in hotels, restaurants, open eateries, on diesel generator sets. These would, however, be allowed for emergent and essential services under Stage I. 

If the pollution level reaches severe, a ban will be enforced on construction and demolition activities in NCR. Essential projects would be barred from these rules.

(With agency inputs)

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