In its latest attempt to control and minimize air pollution in the National Capital Region (hereinafter referred to as ‘NCR’), the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (hereinafter referred to as ‘EPCA’) has decided that the measures listed under the category of Graded Response Action Plan (hereinafter referred to as ‘GRAP’) are required to be implemented by the NCR State Governments Immediately.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) informed EPCA that air quality in Delhi and NCR is in the severe category which will continue to prevail for the next 48 hours in light of the weather conditions prevailing in Delhi-NCR. These directions will remain in force till further notice.
Therefore, the Government of Delhi implements the following actions listed in the severe and very poor category Air Quality Index (AQI) in GRAP –
- Closure of all brick kiln, other than those that have been certified to have converted to zig zag till further notice.
- Closure of all hot mix plants.
- Closure of all stone crushers.
- Immediately intensify public transport service by ensuring there are more buses on road, which are run with reliable service.
- Immediately increase frequency of service of Delhi Metro, including deploying more coaches and introduction of lower fares during off peak hours during the severe period.
- All state pollution control boards to immediately impose fines as per Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules C&D rules on all road constructing agencies where there are inadequate dust control measures and dust management, which allow for penalty up to INR 5,00,000. EPCA is directing for a fine of INR 50,000 to be imposed as penalty per day per stretch for inadequate road dust control.
- Intensification of mechanized road sweeping and sprinkling of water.
- Continuation of the ban on use of generator sets in Delhi, with exceptions only as defined by DPCC for essential services.
- Immediate enhancement of parking fee by 4 times and depositing additional funds in dedicated parking fund with municipalities.
- Immediate stop use of coal and firewood in hotels and eateries. Implementation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court order on ban on sale and use of pet coke and furnace oil.
- Intensify traffic management in all hotspots and increase deployment of traffic police to avoid congestion.
- Intensify the enforcement of non-destined goods traffic into Delhi by physically checking all vehicles and turning them back. Also, putting out public announcements of the numbers that are turned back.
Given the prevailing conditions and the concern about the possible deterioration in weather conditions, the EPCA has directed Governments to ensure that all agencies are ready to implement tougher measures as laid down in GRAP, including stopping of construction activities and introduction of odd-even scheme to restrain traffic on the road.
In addition, the EPCA also advised schools to stop all outdoor activities and to keep exposure to a minimum, including all the citizens of Delhi and NCR. This is because the severe condition that is prevailing recently may cause respiratory effects even on healthy people.