Amid the alarming level of air quality in the National Capital Region, Stage IV of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) will be implemented with immediate effect, officials said on Thursday.
While the primary focus is on restrictions on entry and intra-Delhi movement of vehicles, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has directed all agencies to strictly implement Stage IV.
In wake of unfavourable meteorological conditions anticipated to deteriorate the air quality of the National Capital Region in the coming days, the Sub-Committee for invoking actions under the GRAP of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and adjoining areas held a meeting on Thursday to take the call for further intensified actions required to be implemented by all concerned in the Delhi-NCR.
As per the dynamic model and weather/ meteorological forecast, the overall air quality over Delhi is likely to remain in ‘Severe’/ ‘Severe+’ category from November 3 to 5.
The Commission while comprehensively reviewing the overall air quality parameters during the meeting noted that due to unfavorable meteorological conditions with slower wind speed and rising farm fire incidents, it is considered necessary to implement Stage IV of GRAP — ‘Severe+’ Air Quality (Delhi AQI > 450) with immediate effect as a precautionary step to avoid further deterioration of overall air quality in the NCR.
This is in addition to the restrictive actions mentioned in Stage I, Stage II and Stage III of GRAP.
Stage IV – ‘Severe+’ Air Quality to primarily focus on vehicle restrictions including entry of commercial trucks into Delhi, diesel commercial vehicles for intra-Delhi movements and non BS VI passenger vans, LMVs in Delhi. Various agencies responsible for implementing measures under GRAP and Pollution Control Boards (PCBs) of NCR and DPCC have also been advised to ensure strict implementation of actions of Stage IV under GRAP during this period.
Further, the CAQM appealed to the citizens of NCR to cooperate in implementing GRAP and follow the steps mentioned in the Citizen Charter under GRAP.
Apart from that, 8-point action plan as per Stage IV of GRAP is applicable with immediate effect from today in the entire NCR in addition to steps mentioned in Stage I, II and III. This 8-point action plan includes steps to be implemented/ ensured by different agencies and Pollution Control Boards of NCR and DPCC.
The action plan includes stopping entry of truck traffic into Delhi (except for trucks carrying essential commodities/ providing essential services and all CNG / electric trucks), ban on plying of Delhi registered diesel operated Medium Goods Vehicles (MGV) and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) in Delhi, except those carrying essential commodities/ providing essential services.
It also include ban on plying of 4-wheeler diesel LMVs in NCT of Delhi and Districts of NCR bordering Delhi, except BS-VI vehicles and vehicles used for essential / emergency services,A closing down all industries in NCR, even in areas which do not have PNG infrastructure and supply but still running on fuels, other than the fuels as per the Standard list of approved fuels for NCR.
Industries like milk and dairy units and those involved in manufacturing of life saving medical equipment/ devices, drugs and medicines shall, however, be exempted from the above restrictions.
The action plan also calls for ban construction activities in linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, over bridges, power transmission, pipelines etc.
It said that NCR state governments/ GNCTD would decide on allowing public, municipal and private offices to work on 50 per cent strength and the rest to work from home and Central government may take a decision on permitting work from home for central government offices.
Moreover, state governments may consider additional emergency measures like closure of schools/ colleges/ educational institutions, closure of non-emergency commercial activities and plying of vehicles on odd-even basis etc.