Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world, has initiated its action plan to tackle air pollution.
This comes after the air quality in the national capital dropped to the 'poor' category, with some areas recording a severe AQI of above 300.
What is GRAP?
GRAP is a set of emergency measures that kick in to prevent further deterioration of air quality once it reaches a certain threshold in the Delhi-NCR region.
Approved by the Supreme Court in 2016 and notified in 2017, the plan was formulated after several meetings that the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) held with state government representatives and experts.
The result was a plan that institutionalised measures to be taken when air quality deteriorates.
GRAP is incremental in nature and thus, when the air quality dips from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor,’ measures listed under both sections have to be followed.
Stage 1 of GRAP is activated when the AQI is in the ‘poor’ category (201 to 300), Stage 2 is when it’s in the ‘Very poor’ category (301-400), Stage 3 is when the AQI is the ‘Severe’ category (401-450) and finally Stage 4 is when it rises to the ‘Severe +’ category (more than 450).
GRAP Stage 1 implemented in Delhi-NCR
The first stage of the Centre's graded response action plan (GRAP) to combat winter air pollution in Delhi has come into effect from today (7 October).
This comes after the Sub-Committee of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) met on Friday to take stock of the current air quality of Delhi-NCR.
"While comprehensively reviewing the air quality scenario in the region as well as the air quality forecasts made available by IMD/ IITM, it was noted that there has been a sudden dip in air quality in the last 24 hours leading to the air quality of Delhi moving into the ‘Poor’ category," a Union Environment Ministry statement said.
"While the dynamic model and weather/ meteorological forecast by IMD/ IITM predict the overall AQI of Delhi will stay in ‘Poor’ category in the next few couple of days, it is considered necessary to invoke Stage-I of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR in an effort to take steps to prevent further deterioration of air quality in the region," it said.
"As per the decision of the Sub-Committee for operationalization of GRAP, all actions as envisaged under Stage I of the GRAP – ‘POOR’ Air Quality (DELHI AQI ranging between 201-300), to be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR," it added.
Action plan under GRAP Stage-1
As part of the plan, heavy fines will be imposed on vehicles that visibly pollute the air. Additionally, trucks not intended for Delhi will be redirected through the eastern and western outskirts of the city.
Under Stage 1 of the plan, work at private construction and demolition projects exceeding 500 sqm will be suspended if they are not registered on the state government's portal for remote monitoring of dust mitigation measures. Construction and demolition sites will also utilize anti-smog guns to address the issue.
Authorities will be implementing a comprehensive prohibition on the use of coal and firewood in tandoors at hotels, restaurants, and open eateries. This measure aims to reduce pollution and promote cleaner cooking methods.
As part of stage 1, there will be a ban on all "burning activities" taking place at landfill sites. This step is crucial in minimizing the release of harmful pollutants into the air.
Under Stage 1 of the plan, work at private construction and demolition projects exceeding 500 sqm will be suspended if they are not registered on the state government's portal for remote monitoring of dust mitigation measures. Construction and demolition sites will also utilise anti-smog guns to address the issue.
Authorities will be implementing a comprehensive prohibition on the use of coal and firewood in tandoors at hotels, restaurants, and open eateries.
As part of stage 1, there will also be a ban on all "burning activities" taking place at landfill sites.
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