Commission for Air Quality Management Implements Stringent Measures in Delhi-NCR Amid Escalating Air Pollution

In response to the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body, issued orders on Friday to impose a ban on non-essential construction activities and the operation of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in the region.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change conveyed that NCR state governments, including the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), are directed to enforce strict restrictions on the movement of BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi and specific districts, namely Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Gautam Budh Nagar. Additionally, the state governments are empowered to decide on discontinuing physical classes in schools for children up to Class V, favoring online instruction.

As of midday, Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) has shown a steady increase, reaching 397 at 12 pm and 405 at 3:05 pm. The CAQM Sub-Committee for Operationalization of actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) decided to reinvoke an 8-point action plan under Stage III of GRAP across the entire NCR, effective immediately. This step is taken to prevent further deterioration of air quality, complementing existing measures under Stage-I and Stage-II of GRAP.

The Ministry emphasized that relevant agencies responsible for GRAP implementation, along with Pollution Control Boards (PCBs) of NCR and DPCC, are urged to ensure stringent adherence to actions under Stage-III of GRAP, in addition to those under Stage-I and Stage-II.

While the restrictions are comprehensive, specific exemptions are granted for construction activities related to national security, defense, projects of national importance, healthcare, railways, metro rail, airports, interstate bus terminals, highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines, sanitation, and water supply.

CAQM appeals to the residents of NCR to actively cooperate in the effective implementation of GRAP measures, aiming to sustain and enhance overall air quality in the region.

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