Air pollution

Delhi Air Pollution Worsens; Emergency Plan to be Implemented Today – All You Need to Know



New Delhi: The Central Pollution Control Board will implement an emergency action plan on Monday as Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) continues to reel from bouts of pollution for last few days. The measures have been divided in different categories depending on the air quality levels – moderate to poor, very poor, severe and severe plus.

Named as Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), the emergency plan will outline stringent actions that must be implemented as per the air quality of the city.

Currently the air quality is in the poor category and authorities have predicted that it would reach the ‘very poor’ category in the next couple of days. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi on October 13 morning was 699, which is considered way above hazardous.

Notably, the AQI between the range of 51 to 100 is considered as satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 comes under the poor category, whereas 401-500 range is severe.

All You Need to Know About the Emergency Plan

  • The emergency plan, outlined by the Central Pollution Control Board has been named as Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). Under it, stringent actions will be implemented in Delhi-NCR to bring the air quality under a proper check.
  • The measures undertaken under the emergency plan will solely depend on the air quality of the city. These have been divided into four different categories just as the air quality levels.
  • If the air quality lies in moderate to poor category- measures like stopping garbage burning in landfills and other places, and enforcing all pollution control regulations in brick kilns and industries would be implemented, an official said.
  • If the air quality falls in the very poor category, additional measures of stopping use of diesel generator sets, enhancing parking fees 3-4 times and increasing frequency of metro and buses would be implemented, he added.
  • If the air quality falls in the severe category, additional measures would be implemented of increasing frequency of mechanised cleaning of roads, sprinkling of water on roads and identifying road stretches with high dust generation.
  • If the air quality falls to severe plus emergency category, then measures like stopping entry of trucks into Delhi (except essential commodities), stopping construction activities and appointment of task force to take decision on any additional steps, including shutting of schools, are implemented.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is not only depending on GRAP to control air pollution. In addition, it has also deployed 41 teams across the Delhi-NCR to monitor proper implementation of norms enforced to prevent pollution at the source.

A senior CPCB official has been quoted as saying in a PTI report that till October 11, 96 inspections were conducted by the teams across Delhi NCR. While informing that the inspections were started by a two-member team on September 15, he added that the same would intensify in the coming days.

Air pollution in Delhi and nearby states increases particularly due to burning of paddy straw during October and November and wheat straw during April in Punjab and Haryana. Recently, NASA had released images showing rampant stubble burning activity in the two states. On its official website, it had stated that burning of crop residue in Punjab and Haryana has increased significantly over the past 10 days in and near Amritsar, Ambala, Karnal, Sirsa and Hisar.

 (Inputs from PTI)

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