New Delhi: With the air quality in Delhi dropping to the ‘poor’ level on Wednesday (October 5), authorities in the National Capital Region have been asked to strictly implement measures under the first stage of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The action plan includes penal and legal action against polluting industrial units. The Centre’s sub-committee on GRAP in a meeting noted that there has been a “sudden dip” in air quality parameters in the region in the last 24 hours which pushed Delhi’s AQI into the “poor” category. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’.
“While this is likely to be a localised influence and the forecasts do not predict any further deterioration, in an effort to maintain the AQI in the moderate category, as a precautionary measure, the sub-committee decided that all actions as envisaged under Stage I of the GRAP – ‘Poor’ air quality be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR,” the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) said in an order.
Delhi’s 24-average air quality index stood at 211 at 4 pm, worsening from 150 at 4 pm on Tuesday. It stood at 248 in Ghaziabad, 196 in Faridabad, 234 in Greater Noida, 238 in Gurugram and 215 in Noida.
Under Stage-I, the Centre’s Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) recommends stopping construction and demolition (C&D) activities at sites having plot size equal to or more than 500 square metres that are not registered on the “web portal” of the respective states for remote monitoring of air pollution levels.
Project proponents are required to ensure proper implementation of guidelines for dust mitigation, management of C&D waste and use of anti-smog guns at construction sites.
Agencies concerned are required to ensure periodic mechanised sweeping of roads and water sprinkling, and impose heavy fines for violation of the curbs on open burning of biomass and municipal solid waste.
The authorities are required to strictly enforce PUC (pollution under check) norms for vehicles and maintain a strict vigil to ensure that there are no burning incidents at landfills and dump sites. They also need to ensure that thermal power plants comply with emission norms and only approved fuel is used by industries, and stringent action is taken against violations.
Dr Vijay Kumar Soni, a scientist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and part of the Centre’s sub-committee for GRAP, said the air quality is likely to improve to moderate category by Thursday (October 6).
“We expect light rains and favorable wind direction and speed over the next three to four days in Delhi-NCR which will help improve air quality,” he said.
(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 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. 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 wake of the current 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 wellbeing, 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.