The national capital Delhi’s emergency plan GRAP, which was formulated in order to fight the “very poor” and “severe” air pollution levels, has been rolled out from October 15. Diesel generator sets have been banned in the national capital. The urgent step comes in the backdrop of the city already having encountered 9 days of ‘poor’ air quality in the first 2 weeks of this month. This is the 2nd year running of the Graded Response Action Plan or Grap, which was last implemented in the year 2017.
“Measures listed under the Graded Response Action Plan or Grap in order to fight “very poor” and “severe” category of air pollution will be rolled out. This would continue till March 2019,” says Sunita Narain, a member of the Supreme Court appointed panel on Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). This is the body that implements GRAP.
“With the Graded Response Action Plan or GRAP being rolled out, there will be ban on diesel generator (DG) sets in Delhi. However, DG sets will be allowed to operate in the NCR towns because it would be impractical to ban them outside the national capital Delhi, where there is a problem of power supply,” says Narain.
Other emergency measures like ban on construction, ban on stone-crushers and hot-mix plants, enhancement of parking fees and implementing the odd even road traffic scheme, would be implemented in case air quality continues to deteriorate further and actually reaches the “severe” or “emergency” category. In the month of November 2017, schools had to be shut when the air quality turned “severe” for over a week. After the end of monsoons and the arrival of winters, Delhi’s air quality has begun dipping, although air quality index (AQI) has not yet touched the ‘very poor’ or the ‘severe’ category levels yet. The AQI was around 204 on Sunday.
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