Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that all relevant departments have received directives to ensure strict adherence to the GRAP Stage-I and Stage-II restrictions, following a weather department forecast indicating potential fluctuations in pollution levels in the national capital.
During a press conference, Rai highlighted, “Considering the improved pollution levels, the restrictions under GRAP-III have been lifted. However, there’s a prediction from the weather department suggesting potential fluctuations in pollution levels if the wind speed decreases. All relevant departments have been instructed to ensure strict compliance with GRAP-I and GRAP-II restrictions.”
He added, “The ban on BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel vehicles has been lifted, and constraints on construction and demolition activities have been relaxed”.
Rai emphasised the measures taken, stating, “Daily water sprinkling on identified roads and continuous use of mechanical sweeping machines have been instructed. Currently, 215 mobile anti-smog guns are in operation, with 60 deployed in hotspots. Additionally, 375 water sprinkling machines and 82 mechanical sweeping machines are actively working.”
Furthermore, Rai pointed out, “Construction sites covering an area of 500 square meters or more must register on the web portal, and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has launched a special campaign for this purpose. Adherence to the 14 rules concerning dust norms at all construction sites is mandatory.”
He warned of stringent actions against violators, stating, “A total of 591 teams have been deployed to ensure compliance. Strict adherence to rules governing the deployment of anti-smog guns at C&D sites has been mandated.”
Rai highlighted the ongoing anti-open burning campaign running from November 14 to December 14, with 611 teams dedicated to its implementation.
Regarding vehicular pollution, Rai emphasised, “Strict enforcement of pollution control rules for vehicles, including imposing maximum penalties on polluting vehicles, is being ensured. The transport department has deployed 84 teams, while 284 teams from the Delhi Police are actively engaged.”
Efforts to alleviate traffic congestion were also outlined, with Rai mentioning, “Special teams have been deployed at the 91 traffic congestion points identified by the traffic police.”
He urged Delhi residents to report pollution-contributing activities through the Green Delhi app.
The Central government, on Tuesday, lifted restrictions under GRAP Stage-III across the entire NCR, following significant improvements in air quality.
The Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM), responsible for formulating pollution-combating strategies, convened due to the improved air quality in Delhi-NCR.
The CAQM cited air quality forecasts by the India Meteorological Department/Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, indicating no predicted shift to the ‘severe’ category in the coming days, for which forecasts are available. (With inputs from PTI)