Delhi Air Pollution: Emergency plan rolled out to combat toxic emissions
Taking cognisance of the rising pollution levels in the national capital and its surrounding regions, the Supreme Court-appointed environment watchdog Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) initiated the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) from Monday to curb toxic emissions. Under GRAP, a pollution emergency is declared when PM10 breaches 500 ug/m3. The environmental committee will focus on the basic measures to curb air pollution but will shift to emergency measures in the event of deteriorating air quality.
Under GRAP, several measures such as the frequent sprinkling of water on roads, halting construction and demolition activities, banning the use of diesel generators, banning the entry of trucks, banning brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers, shutting down the Badarpur thermal power plant, among others will be implemented.
GRAP, which was notified last year, will be implemented between October 15 and March 15. The measures are suggested to reduce — PM 2.5 and PM 10 — the major pollutants in Delhi NCR, which can have an adverse effect on public health. Currently, the AQI in Delhi-NCR is in the “unhealthy” to “poor category”, however, according to authorities, pollution levels may increase in the coming days.
What is GRAP?
Graded Response Action Plan or GRAP are actions that are taken once the pollution level reaches a certain specified limit. Under GRAP, a pollution emergency is declared when PM10 breaches 500 ug/m3.
Who determines the pollution level?
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had deployed 41 teams across Delhi-NCR to monitor the proper implementation of norms enforced to curb pollution at the source. Till October 11, 96 inspections were conducted by the teams across Delhi-NCR and the inspections would intensify in the coming days. The inspections were started by the two-member team on September 15, a CPCB official said.
What measures will be implemented under GRAP?