April 20, 2024

Delhi NCR Air Quality: GRAP Stage 3 restrictions lifted

Commission for Air Quality Management lifts GRAP Stage 3 restrictions in Delhi-NCR.

Commission for Air Quality Management lifts GRAP Stage 3 restrictions in Delhi-NCR.

On Thursday, the sub-committee of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) took a decisive step by revoking Stage-3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) across the entire Delhi-NCR region, effective immediately. GRAP Stage 3 entailed a comprehensive cessation of construction and demolition activities, with exceptions granted solely for essential government projects, mining, stone crushing, and the operation of BS III petrol and BS IV diesel vehicles in Delhi and its environs.

The CAQM justified its decision by noting a progressive improvement in Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI), registering at 316 as of 2:00 pm. This figure stands significantly lower, by 85 AQI points, than the threshold for activating GRAP Stage III actions (Delhi AQI 401-450). The CAQM expressed confidence in the ongoing preventive, mitigative, and restrictive measures across all stages, anticipating the likelihood of sustaining the improvement in AQI.

Banned Activities in Delhi-NCR under GRAP Stage 3:

The following activities were prohibited under GRAP Stage 3:

  1. Non-essential construction and demolition work
  2. Operation of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers
  3. Boring and drilling activities
  4. Movement of vehicles on unpaved roads
  5. Operations of stone crushers
  6. All mining and associated activities
  7. Personal use of coal and wood for heating purposes

Exemptions from the Ban:

Certain activities were exempted from the ban, including:

  1. Construction projects related to national security or defense and those deemed of national importance or healthcare-related
  2. Construction work associated with railways, metro rail, airports, inter-state bus terminals, power transmission, pipelines, sanitation, and water supply
  3. Linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, and overbridges

This decision aims to strike a balance between environmental concerns and the imperative nature of specific construction projects and essential services. It is essential to actively manage and respond to air quality concerns, ensuring a pragmatic approach to maintain a healthier living environment in Delhi-NCR.

One of the primary contributors to Delhi’s pollution is air pollution, driven by a combination of vehicular emissions, industrial activities, construction dust, and agricultural residue burning in neighboring states. The city’s geographical location and weather patterns exacerbate the problem, particularly during the winter months when temperature inversions trap pollutants close to the ground, leading to the formation of a thick layer of smog.

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