Air pollution in Delhi-NCR: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has suggested some measures to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR through the implementation of a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for the city. According to the official notification of the Pollution Control Board, a sub-committee convened a meeting on Monday and reviewed the meteorological and air pollution forecast along with the air quality situation for Delhi-NCR.
According to the IMD’s forecast, northwesterly winds are expected for the next five days, possibly leading to further increase in pollution due to stubble burning, the notification said. Also, the air quality may fluctuate due to adverse weather in the coming days.
The CPCB has directed the agencies concerned to strictly implement the action based on the decisions taken by the sub-committee. The Board said the measures listed under ‘Very Poor’ and ‘Poor to Moderate’ of AQI while acting under ‘Severe category’ should be implemented in Delhi-NCR with immediate effect.
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Some of the measures suggested in the order include – increasing mechanized cleaning and sprinkling of water on roads, identifying the stretches of roads with high dust, ensuring that all brick kilns in Delhi-NCR are cleared by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Closed as per instructions. Along with this, in the notification, the concerned authorities have been asked to ensure that all hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi-NCR remain closed. Also directed to increase power generation from existing natural gas-based plants to ease the operation of coal-based power plants in NCR (Badarpur power plant has already been shut down).
To speed up public transport services as per the guidelines of CPCB. To incentivize travel during off-peak hours, differentiate the fares. States have been asked to disseminate information about air pollution levels and create awareness among citizens about steps to reduce air pollution.
The notification said that the agencies responsible should closely monitor the action taken at the appropriate level and give a daily report to the concerned authorities.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), Delhi’s air quality improved from ‘severe’ to ‘very poor’ category on Tuesday with the air quality index (AQI) at 372.