Delhi’s air quality deteriorates to ‘severe’ category
New Delhi: The National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) suddenly and unexpectedly spiked and clocked 400 today, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The Air Quality forecast of the India Meteorological Department further warned of an increasing trend in the overall AQI of Delhi in the coming days.
The average air quality of Delhi is likely to deteriorate further tomorrow and the overall AQI is expected to stay in the ‘Severe’ category.
In view of the significant deterioration in the air quality of Delhi-NCR in the last 24 hours, the Sub-Committee for invoking actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) met today and re-imposed Stage-III of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR. While assessing the overall air quality parameters, the Sub-Committee noted that the air quality suddenly and unexpectedly deteriorated owing to dense foggy conditions without much sunlight and very low temperatures, coupled with calm winds and stable atmospheric conditions over the last few hours.
Based on earlier decisions of the Sub-Committee on GRAP, actions up to Stage-I and Stage-II of the GRAP are already in force vide orders dated October 5, 2022, and October 19, 2022, respectively.
Following the sudden deterioration in AQI, now a 9-point action plan as per Stage-III of GRAP is applicable with immediate effect from today in the entire NCR in addition to preventive/ restrictive actions under Stage-I and Stage-II of GRAP which are already in place.
The 9-point action plan includes steps to be implemented/ ensured by different agencies and PCBs of NCR and DPCC. These steps are:
- Intensified frequency of mechanised/ vacuum-based sweeping of roads.
- Daily water sprinkling along with the use of dust suppressants, before peak traffic hours, on roads and right of ways including hotspots, heavy traffic corridors and proper disposal of the collected dust in designated sites/ landfills.
- Intensification of public transport services. Introduce differential rates to encourage off-peak travel.
- Construction & Demolition (C&D) Activities:
(i) Enforce a strict ban on construction and demolition activities in the entire NCR, except for the following categories of projects:
- Railway services / Railway stations
- Metro Rail Services including stations.
- Airports and Inter-State Bus Terminals.
- National security/defence-related activities/ projects of national importance.
- Hospitals/ health care facilities.
- Linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, over bridges, power transmission, pipelines etc.
- Sanitation projects like sewage treatment plants and water supply projects etc.
- Ancillary activities specific to and supplementing the above categories of projects.
– global bihari bureau