The air quality of the National capital New Delhi and its surrounding NCR region once again reached the ‘Very Poor’ category (301-400). The multiple reasons adding fuel to the poor air quality in and around the national capital, such as higher emissions through snarling traffic on busy Delhi roads, paddy straw burning from farms of Punjab and Haryana added up by the pollution from sparkling crackers of Diwali, making it worse to breathe.
The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) assessed the air quality and decided to take appropriate actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) by implementing the revised norms of Stage II with prior GRAP Stage I in force for boosting the quality of air to support normal life with the support of other government agencies like Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The Citizens Charter of GRAP Stage II encourages the use of public convenience by discouraging the use of private vehicles for commutation, and timely replacement of air filters.
GRAP Stage II will develop an action plan to cope with the air quality by sprinkling water and suppressing dust on roads at prime locations, timely inspection and dust control, and routine cleaning of roads. This will push the recommended use of anti-smog guns at construction sites, and the use of green energy-based appliances for hotels, restaurants, and open food places while discouraging the use of coal or firewood in Tandoors at open food places, hotels and restaurants along with a ban on the use of Diesel Generators except for emergencies and essential services.
Advertisements on all public platforms about dos and don’ts related to addressing the worsening air quality and limiting other polluting elements have been placed. The motivation to use the EVs, CNG, and Metro by acquiring more fleets and boosting service frequency along with an increase in parking fees is also on the card. The revised schedule of GRAP Stage II, closely monitored by the CAQM and other agencies on prevailing air quality conditions to improve the AQI with stringent measures is expected to help the people of Delhi to breathe in fresh air once again during this winter.