Given the forecast that the air quality in Delhi is likely to be in ‘Severe+/ Severe’ category over the next few days, the Sub-Committee of the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region decided that all actions as envisaged under Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan be implemented. This is applicable for ‘Severe +’ Air Quality with AQI reading greater than 450.
The Sub-Committee for invoking actions under the Graded Response Action Plan in Delhi-NCR in its earlier meetings had invoked actions under Stage I, Stage II and Stage III of the GRAP.
These steps that are envisaged to stabilise deterioration of air quality include directive to NCR State Governments / GNCTD to decide on allowing public, municipal and private offices to work on 50 percent strength and the rest to work from home.
As per the order, the Central Government may take a decision on permitting work from home for central government offices and State Governments may consider additional emergency measures like closure of schools/ colleges/ educational institutions, closure of non-emergency commercial activities and plying of vehicles on odd-even basis.
Further, citizens may be urged to adhere to the citizen charter and assist in effective implementation of the GRAP measures aimed towards sustaining and improving the Air Quality in the region. Children, elderly and those with respiratory, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular or other chronic diseases have been advised to avoid outdoor activities and stay indoors, as much as possible
This apart the order also recommends steps to –
-Stop the entry of truck traffic into Delhi (except for trucks carrying essential commodities/ providing essential services and all CNG / electric trucks).
-Ban on plying of Delhi registered diesel-operated Medium Goods Vehicles (MGV) and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) in Delhi, except those carrying essential commodities / providing essential services.
-Ban on plying of four-wheeler diesel LMVs in NCT of Delhi and Districts of NCR bordering Delhi, except BS VI vehicles and vehicles used for essential / emergency services.
-Close down all industries in NCR, even in areas which do not have PNG infrastructure and supply but still running on fuels, other than the fuels as per the Standard list of approved fuels for NCR. Industries like milk and dairy units and those involved in manufacturing of life saving medical equipment / devices, drugs and medicines shall however be exempted from the above restrictions.
-Ban construction and demolition activities in linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, over bridges, power transmission, pipelines etc.
Moreover, all implementing agencies are advised that actions under Stage ‘I’, Stage ‘II’ and Stage ‘III’ of the GRAP are further intensified and special drives are conducted for implementation of actions under Stage ‘IV’.
The report states that there is a likelihood of improvement in Air Quality from November 6 onwards owing to favourable wind speed and direction, which presently is predominantly North-Westerly.
The Sub-Committee will again review the Air quality scenario on November 6 and take appropriate decision on GRAP measures thereafter.