Delhi AQI dips to ‘very poor’ category; curbs imposed under GRAP Stage 3

Delhi AQI dips to ‘very poor’ category; curbs imposed under GRAP Stage 3

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has directed authorities in the Delhi-NCR Region to implement curbs under stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in view of the Air Quality Index (AQI) levels of the national capital dipping to the ‘very poor’ category.

On Sunday morning, the AQI of the national capital was 350, continuing to remain in the ‘very poor’ category. It was 309 on Saturday, based on which the CAQM imposed the restrictions.

Also read: Diwali and air pollution: AQI levels vastly different in top metros

The CAQM restrictions include a ban on construction and demolition activities except for essential projects concerning national security, defence, railways and metro rail among others.

CAQM also said that the authorities might impose restrictions on the plying of BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers in the NCR considering the worsening air quality.

The ban would also be applicable to excavation work, drilling and boring; fabrication and welding operations; loading and unloading of construction material and transfer of raw material including fly ash.

Delhi’s 24-hour average AQI stood at 397 at 4 pm, the worst since January. It was 354 on Thursday, 271 on Wednesday, 302 on Tuesday and 312 on Monday (Diwali).

Also read: Delhi launches Green War Room to monitor, combat air pollution 24X7

GRAP is a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in the capital and its vicinity according to the severity of the situation. It classifies the air quality in the Delhi-NCR under four different stages: Stage I – Poor (AQI 201-300); Stage II – Very Poor (AQI 301-400); Stage III – Severe (AQI 401-450); and Stage IV – Severe Plus (AQI >450).

Under stage III, the authorities have been asked to enforce a strict ban on construction and demolition activities in the NCR, except for essential projects.

Brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers not operating on clean fuels, and mining and associated activities in the NCR have also been banned.

Also read: Weather, not firecracker ban, helped Delhi’s air quality this Diwali

The pollution body has also instructed the closure of industries not running on approved fuels in industrial areas having piped natural gas infrastructure.

(With inputs from agencies)

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