New Delhi: The Commission for Air Quality Management on Monday (January 2) said curbs under Stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan, including a ban on non-essential construction and demolition work, will remain in force in Delhi-NCR as pollution levels are showing an upward trend. A layer of smog blanketed Delhi and blurred landmarks from view as low temperatures and calm winds trapped pollutants close to the ground. The 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 357 on Monday, worsening from 259 on Sunday.
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Moderate to dense fog may push the air quality close to the ‘severe’ category on Tuesday morning.
An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
At a review meeting, the sub-committee on the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) noted that air pollution in Delhi is “showing an increasing trend due to low wind speeds and unfavourable weather/meteorological conditions”.
“Considering this, the sub-committee has decided that the ongoing actions implemented under Stage III of GRAP shall continue for the present,” it said.
In view of a spike in air pollution, the Commission of Air Quality Management (CAQM) had on Friday directed implementation of the curbs under Stage III of GRAP in Delhi-NCR.
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GRAP is a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in the capital and its vicinity according to the severity of the situation.
It classifies the air quality in Delhi-NCR under four different 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>450).
If the AQI is projected to reach the ‘severe’ category, restrictive actions under Stage III are to be invoked at least three days in advance. These include a ban on non-essential construction and demolition, closure of stone crushers and mining activities in the region.
Non-polluting activities such as plumbing, carpentry, interior decoration and electrical work are allowed.
The next stage — “Severe Plus” category or Stage IV — includes steps like a ban on the entry of trucks into Delhi, allowing 50 per cent of staff to work from home in public, municipal and private offices, closure of educational institutions and the plying of vehicles on an odd-even basis, etc.
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(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 diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.