Delhi-NCR Air Quality Deteriorates, GRAP Stage II Invoked
The air quality in Delhi-NCR has deteriorated in recent days, with forecasts predicting that it may soon reach the “Very Poor” category, according to the India Meteorological Department and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. In response to the worsening air quality, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has taken action by invoking Stage II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
What Changes in Delhi-NCR After Stage II of GRAP?
The implementation of GRAP guidelines in Delhi-NCR is the responsibility of the Delhi Pollution Control Board and other pollution control boards in the region. At Stage II, GRAP may include more stringent measures, such as:
- A ban on construction activity in the capital region.
- Closure of educational institutions.
- Restrictions on the entry of heavy vehicles, among other measures.
Additionally, during GRAP Stage II, the government may take steps such as increasing parking fees to discourage the use of personal vehicles and enhancing the frequency of CNG/electric buses and metro services.
GRAP Stage-II Guidelines for Citizens
- Encourage the use of public transport and minimize the use of personal vehicles.
- Utilize technology to find less congested routes, even if they are slightly longer.
- Regularly replace air filters in vehicles at recommended intervals.
- Avoid dust-generating construction activities during the months of October to January.
- Refrain from open burning of solid waste and biomass.
11-Point Action Plan Under GRAP-II
- Conduct daily mechanical/vacuum sweeping and water sprinkling on identified roads.
- Employ water sprinkling and dust suppressants (at least every alternate day during non-peak hours) on roads to control road dust, especially at hotspots and heavy traffic corridors.
- Intensify inspections for strict enforcement of dust control measures at construction and demolition sites.
- Focus on targeted actions to reduce air pollution in identified hotspots in NCR.
- Implement measures to ensure uninterrupted power supply, discouraging the use of backup power generators.
- Strictly adhere to schedules for regulated operations of backup power generators across all sectors in the NCR.
- Manage traffic flow and deploy personnel at intersections and congestion points to ensure smooth traffic movement.
- Issue alerts in newspapers, TV, and radio to inform the public about air pollution levels and provide guidance on minimizing polluting activities.
- Increase parking fees to discourage private transport.
- Enhance CNG/electric bus and metro services by adding additional fleets and increasing service frequency.
- Provide electric heaters to security staff in residential welfare associations to prevent open burning of biomass and municipal solid waste during winters.
Category: India Nation & States Current Affairs