- CAQM Sub-Committee for invoking actions under GRAP holds an emergency meeting in wake of significant deterioration in air quality of Delhi-NCR in last 24 hours
- All actions as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP – ‘Severe’ Air Quality to be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR; Stage I and Stage II actions to be reinforced
In view of the significant deterioration in air quality of Delhi-NCR in last 24 hours, the Sub-Committee for invoking actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) held an emergency meeting today. Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed the 407 mark today at 16:00 hours, which is likely to be a localized influence.
The Commission comprehensively reviewed the ongoing restrictive/ preventive actions implemented under Stage I and Stage II of the GRAP along with the impact of revocation of actions under Stage III on the overall air quality of the Delhi-NCR since 14.11.2022. While meticulously reviewing the overall air quality parameters, the Sub-Committee during the meeting noted that due to sudden unfavorable meteorological conditions, it is considered necessary to re-implement Stage III of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR as a pre-emptive measure to prevent further deterioration of air quality in the region.
As per the dynamic model and weather/ meteorological forecast, this sudden spike is possibly due to localized factors therefore in an effort to steer clear of further deterioration of air quality and to maintain the AQI of Delhi, the call to re-invoke all actions as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP – ‘Severe’ Air Quality (DELHI AQI ranging between 401–450) has been taken by the Sub-Committee. This is in addition to the preventive/ restrictive actions mentioned in Stage I and Stage II of the GRAP.
Accordingly, a 9-point action plan as per Stage III of GRAP is applicable with immediate effect from today in the entire NCR in addition to preventive/ restrictive actions of Stage I and Stage II of the GRAP which are already in place. This 9-point action plan includes steps to be implemented/ ensured by different agencies and PCBs of NCR and DPCC. These steps are:
- Intensified frequency of mechanised/ vacuum-based sweeping of roads.
- Daily water sprinkling along with use of dust suppressants, before peak traffic hours, on roads and right of ways including hotspots, heavy traffic corridors and proper disposal of the collected dust in designated sites/ landfills.
- Intensification of public transport services. Introduce differential rates to encourage off-peak travel.
- Construction & Demolition (C&D) Activities:
(i) Enforce strict ban on construction and demolition activities in the entire NCR, except for the following categories of projects:
- Railway services / Railway stations
- Metro Rail Services including stations.
- Airports and Inter State Bus Terminals.
- National security/ defence related activities/ projects of national importance.
- Hospitals/ health care facilities.
- Linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, over bridges, power transmission, pipelines etc.
- Sanitation projects like sewage treatment plants and water supply projects etc.
- Ancillary activities specific to and supplementing above categories of projects.
Note: The above exemptions shall be further subject to strict compliance of the C&D Waste Management Rules, dust prevention/ control norms including compliance with the directions of the Commission issued from time to time in this regard.
(ii) Other than the projects exempted under (i) above, dust generating/ air pollution causing C&D activities to be strictly banned during this period shall include:
· Earthwork for excavation and filling including boring & drilling works.
· All structural construction works including fabrication and welding operations.
· Demolition works.
· Loading & unloading of construction materials anywhere within or outside the project sites.
· Transfer of raw materials either manually or through conveyor belts, including fly ash.
· Movement of vehicles on unpaved roads.
· Operation of batching plant.
· Laying of sewer line, waterline, drainage work and electric cabling by open trench system.
· Cutting and fixing of tiles, stones and other flooring materials.
· Grinding activities.
· Piling work.
· Water Proofing work.
· Road construction/ repair works including paving of sidewalks / pathways and central verges etc.
(iii) For all construction projects in NCR, non-polluting / non-dust generating activities such as plumbing works, interior decoration, electrical works and carpentry related works shall be permitted to be continued.
- Industrial operations
- For industrial areas having PNG infrastructure and supply:
Strictly enforce closure / ban on such industries/ operations not running on fuels as in the standard list of approved fuels for NCR.
- For industrial areas not having PNG infrastructure and supply:
Regulate operations of such industries not using any of the fuels as per the standard list of approved fuels for NCR, to operate only for maximum 5 days a week as under (till 31.12.2022):
(i) Paper and pulp processing, distilleries and captive thermal power plants – to remain inoperative on Saturdays and Sundays.
(ii) Paddy / rice processing units – to remain inoperative on Mondays and Tuesdays.
(iii) Textile/ garments and apparels including dyeing processes – to remain inoperative on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
(iv) Other industries not falling in the above noted categories – to remain inoperative on Fridays and Saturdays.
- With effect from 01.01.2023, strictly enforce closure/ ban in the entire NCR, on such industries/ operations not running on fuels, as in the standard list of approved fuels for NCR.
Note: Milk & dairy units and those involved in manufacturing of life saving medical equipments / devices, drugs and medicines shall, however be exempted from the above restrictions.
- Close brick kilns, hot mix plants which are not operating on fuels, as in the standard list of approved fuels for NCR.
- Close down operations of stone crushers.
- Ban / Close down mining and associated activities in the NCR.
- State Governments in NCR/ GNCTD may impose restrictions on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel LMVs (4 wheelers).
Moreover, the Commission appeals to the citizens of NCR to cooperate in implementing GRAP and follow the steps mentioned in the Citizen Charter under GRAP. Citizens are advised to:
- Choose a cleaner commute – share a ride to work or use public transport or walk or cycle.
- People, whose positions allow working from home, may work from home.
- Do not use coal and wood for heating purpose.
- Individual house owners may provide electric heaters (during winters) to security staff to avoid open burning.
- Combine errands and reduce trips. Walk to errands wherever possible.
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 under Stage III and reinforce actions under Stage I and Stage II of the GRAP during this period.
Further, the Commission is closely watching the situation and will review the air quality scenario accordingly. The revised schedule of the GRAP is available on the Commission’s official website and can be accessed via caqm.nic.in
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