Govt turns to GRAP-II as air quality worsens in Delhi; here’s what will change

The air quality of Delhi-NCR has deteriorated over the last few days and according to the India Meteorological Department and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, it may reach the “very poor” category in the next 3-4 days. The Commission on Air Quality Management (CAQM) was operational on Saturday as the Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 248 and its sub-committee decided to implement Phase II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

The CAQM’s decision comes at a time when Delhi’s air quality has worsened over the past few days and is expected to drop further as India’s winter borders prepare for various festivals. The AQI is near the Very Poor category (301-400) and is expected to reach these levels on Monday or Tuesday.

What is changing in Delhi-NCR after Phase II of GRAP?

The Delhi Pollution Control Board and other pollution control boards in the NCR region are responsible for implementing the GRAP guidelines, which may include more intensive steps at higher levels such as banning construction activities in the national capital region, closure of educational institutions, entry bans. heavy vehicles etc.

Under GRAP II, the government is taking steps like increasing parking charges to discourage the use of private vehicles and increasing the frequency of CNG/Electric buses and metros.

GRAP Phase II Guidelines for Citizens

1. People use public transport and minimize the use of personal vehicles.

2. Use technology and take less congested routes, even if a little longer.

3. Change the air filters regularly at the recommended intervals in your vehicles.

4. Avoid construction activities that generate dust between October and January.

5. Avoid open burning of solid waste and biomass.

11-point action plan under GRAP-II

1. Perform daily mechanical/vacuum cleaning and watering of identified roads.

2. Ensure water spraying along with the use of dust suppressants (at least daily, off-peak hours) on roads to suppress road dust, especially at hot spots, heavy traffic corridors, vulnerable areas and proper disposal of collected dust. designated sites/landfills.

3. Intensify inspections for strict enforcement of dust control measures at C&D sites.

4. Ensure focused and targeted action to reduce air pollution in all hotspots identified in NCR. Strengthen remedial measures for the predominant sector(s) contributing to adverse air quality in each such hotspot.

5. Ensure uninterrupted power supply to discourage use of alternative energy generating devices/equipment (DG devices etc.).

6. Strictly comply with the schedule of regulated activity of DGs in all areas of AAA, including industrial, commercial, residential and office, etc., according to 29.09.2023. of instruction No. 76.

7. Synchronize traffic movements and deploy appropriate staff at intersections/traffic jam points for smooth flow of traffic.

8. Warning in newspapers/TV/Radio to advise people about the level of air pollution and vices and provisions to minimize polluting activities.

9. Raise parking fees to discourage private transportation.

10. Expand CNG/electric bus and metro services by introducing additional fleets and increasing service frequency.

11. Resident Welfare Associations shall compulsorily provide electric heaters to security guards to avoid open burning of biomass and MSW in winter.

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Updated: 21 Oct 2023 21:58 IST

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