New Delhi: The Centre on Monday (January 29), refrained from implementing stricter measures to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR, even though air quality in the region is predicted to turn ‘severe’ on January 30. This is the third time since January 24 that the central government has decided against employing disruptive measures to control air pollution. The 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi stood at 356 at 4 pm on Monday. It is likely to deteriorate to the ‘severe’ category (AQI above 400) on Tuesday, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).
If the AQI breaches the 400-mark, authorities in Delhi-NCR are required to invoke stricter curbs under Stage III of the Centre’s Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to control air pollution.
The CAQM sub-committee for operationalisation of GRAP convened an emergency meeting on Monday and took stock of the air quality situation, projected AQI and meteorological forecasts, a statement said.
According to the IMD and the IITM, the projected dip in air quality on Tuesday is “likely for a short duration”.
The AQI will return to the ‘very poor’ category due to a slight improvement in meteorological conditions, including gusty wind and rain, it said.
Therefore, the committee decided not to invoke Stage III of GRAP at this stage, the CAQM said.
Stage III curbs include a ban on non-essential construction work and the plying of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi-NCR.
Construction work related to national security or defence, projects of national importance, health care, railways, metro rail, airports, interstate bus terminals, highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines, sanitation and water supply are exempt from the ban.
GRAP, implemented in the region during the winter season, actions in four stages: 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 above 450).
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.