Air pollution: Delhi environment minister Rai directs effective implementation of GRAP-3 curbs

- December 23, 2023
| By : Patriot Bureau |

On Saturday morning, the air quality index in Delhi was recorded at 447, which comes under the 'severe' category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board

Gopal Rai / Photo: Twitter

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai called upon all relevant departments on Saturday to reassemble their teams and ensure the stringent enforcement of measures outlined in Stage-3 of the Centre’s air pollution control plan.

During a press conference, the minister highlighted that Delhi’s air quality had declined sharply from ‘very poor’ to the ‘severe’ category on Friday, attributing it to the combination of low temperatures and stagnant winds.

“In response to the deteriorating air quality, the Commission for Air Quality Management has reinstated restrictions under Stage-3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). This entails the prohibition of non-essential construction activities and the operation of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi-NCR,” he explained.

As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi recorded an air quality index of 447 on Saturday morning, indicating a ‘severe’ level of pollution.

Rai emphasized that the government has issued alerts to all 28 concerned departments responsible for pollution control initiatives. “They have been instructed to activate their teams promptly to address the situation,” he stated.

Furthermore, the minister affirmed that non-essential construction work, stone crushing, and mining will remain prohibited in Delhi until further notice.

Exceptions to the ban include construction linked to national security or defence, projects of national significance, healthcare, railways, metro rail, airports, interstate bus terminals, highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines, sanitation, and water supply.

Under Stage-3 guidelines, the operation of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in the national capital will also face restrictions.

The GRAP, designed by the Centre, is an air pollution control strategy implemented during the winter season in the region. It classifies measures into four stages based on Air Quality Index (AQI) levels: Stage-1 – ‘Poor’ (AQI 201-300); Stage-2 – ‘Very Poor’ (AQI 301-400); Stage-3 – ‘Severe’ (AQI 401-450); and Stage-4 – ‘Severe Plus’ (AQI>450). (With inputs from PTI)