Centre’s action plan to check Delhi air pollution comes into force today
New Delhi: The Graded Response Action Plan, a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in the Delhi-NCR region in the winter season will come into force on Sunday.
The Commission for Air Quality Management, an autonomous body tasked with improving air quality in Delhi and the adjoining areas, had made crucial changes to the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) last year and again in July this year.
The new changes include strict restrictions on the plying of overage vehicles and a complete ban on the use of coal and firewood in eateries, restaurants and hotels when the air quality index (AQI) breaches the 200 mark.
BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers will be immediately banned in Delhi and Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar if the Air Quality Index (AQI) crosses the 400 mark.
The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body formed under an Act in 2021, had amended the GRAP in July last year to ensure proactive implementation of anti-air
pollution steps based on forecasts up to three days in advance.
Earlier, the authorities would implement these measures, including banning construction and demolition works, entry of high-emission vehicles and the use of coal and firewood, only after the pollution level touched a particular threshold.
The GRAP for the National Capital Region (NCR) is classified under four different stages of adverse air quality in Delhi: 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).
The revised GRAP recommends strict enforcement of the orders of the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal on overage diesel and petrol vehicles under Stage 1.
It also calls for a complete ban on the use of coal and firewood in eateries, restaurants and hotels as soon as the AQI crosses the 200 mark.