Air quality in Delhi is again becoming an issue of concerns, both for citizens and authorities, as it has already touched ‘very poor’ level even before Diwali has forced the authorities to take some stringent actions. Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has banned construction activities in the national capital and satellite towns during night between 6pm and 6am from October 26 to 30.
Interestingly, directions have also been issued to the officials concerned to deduct a part of the salaries of the executive engineers of Public Works Department (PWD) and other agencies if they fail to remove construction and demolition (C&D) waste and garbage from the roads under their jurisdiction.
The EPCA while directing implementation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for daily emergency action from October 15, 2019 onwards, has also sought local action plans for targeted pollution hotspots — 13 in Delhi and five in NCR. Hotspot action will also be extended to the winter plan of the Delhi government this year.
The action plans on Delhi’s 13 hotspots have been given the highest priority, and work on the action points would be completed within two weeks. Directions have also been given to clean immediately the specific stretches where C&D waste and garbage has been identified. Further steps such as route rationalisation, reduction of dead mileage, GPS-based monitoring and night sweeping will be put in place.
Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was notified on January 12, 2017, for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in Delhi and NCR. It identifies graded measures and implementing agencies for response to four AQI categories, namely, Moderate to Poor, Very Poor, Severe and Severe + or Emergency. The Central Government has notified a Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) in 2018 identifying timelines and implementing agencies for actions identified for prevention, control and mitigation of air pollution in Delhi and NCR.