EPCA asks state govts to intensify ground level plans
NEW DELHI: Soaring air pollution levels across Delhi on Thursday prompted the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) to write to neighbouring states to gear up for another round of action under the 'emergency' category.
The Delhi government has also directed all allied agencies to strictly monitor pollution levels.
In his letter, EPCA chairman Bhure Lal directed the states to intensify ground-level action to tackle the pollutant-laden haze, which has shrouded the region.
At around 1 pm on Thursday, concentration of PM2.5 across Delhi was 320.9 microgram per cubic metre, while that of PM10 was 496 microgram per cubic metre, four units short of the emergency limit of 500.
Under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), pollution is considered to be 'severe plus or emergency' when readings of PM2.5 or PM10 are above 300 and 500 micrograms per cubic metre, respectively.
Preventive measures listed under the 'emergency' category are rolled out when these conditions prevail for more than 48 hours at a stretch.
If the EPCA notifies the 'emergency' action plan, which earlier happened during the November smog episode, measures listed in the GRAP including ban on entry of trucks, construction activities and Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme may have to be introduced in the city.
The Environment department of Delhi government has said that its senior officials and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee are keeping track of pollution levels across the city.
The government also presented a detailed plan on combating pollution to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Monday.
The Environment department has also bought an anti-smog cannon, which was first used on Wednesday at the Anand Vihar ISBT to decrease the pollution.
However, there was not much change from this initiative in terms of air quality at the spot.