West Bengal’s ‘Graded Response Action Plan’

The state government of West Bengal announced ‘Graded Response Action Plan’ (GRAP) after Kolkata’s air quality worsened significantly during the last week of November.

About West Bengal’s GRAP

  • ‘Graded Response Action Plan’ (GRAP) aims to combat increasing air pollution in Kolkata and other non-attainment cities like Howrah, Barrackpore, Durgapur, Haldia and Asansol.
  • Non-attainment cities are those that have been unable to attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for over the past 5 consecutive years.
  • A GRAP is a set of emergency action measures that will be implemented to prevent further deterioration of air quality once it reaches certain threshold. The Stage 1 of the action plan will be activated when the AQI in the poor category (201 to 300). Stage 2, 3 and 4 are activated when the air quality turns “very poor”, “severe” and “severe plus” respectively.
  • However, Bengal GRAP is not graded. Stronger measures will be implemented under this plan if situation requires.
  • The Bengal GRAP includes the following measures:
  1. Frequent mechanised sweeping and water sprinkling to roads, especially in heavy traffic corridors and hotspots, to suppress dust.
  2. Disposal of dust and garbage in designated sites.
  3. Strict enforcement of the prohibition of open burning of garbage.
  4. Proper containment and disposal of demolition materials and construction wastes. Any construction site that violates this rule will be identified and closed down.
  5. Strict enforcement of the ban on open burning of biomass and municipal solid waste
  6. Ensuring smooth flow of traffic
  7. Continuous monitoring of the implementation of GRAP in identified pollution hotspots
  8. Taking action against visibly polluting vehicles with hefty fines
  9. Diversion of non-destined truck traffic and reducing 50 per cent of heavy goods vehicles except those carrying essential commodities or providing essential services.
  10. Strict action against bursting of banned fire crackers and the use of non-compliant diesel generator sets.

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