New Delhi, Oct 18 (PTI) Global green NGO Greenpeace today welcomed the enforcement of a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to tackle air pollution in the national capital this Diwali.

According to the NGO, a number of anti-pollution measures would be initiated as part of the GRAP and might lead to an improvement in air pollution levels in the national capital compared to previous years.

“Shutting down Badarpur Thermal Power Plant is imperative to reduce air pollution levels in Delhi and NCR, but the other thermal power plants, located at least in 300- 500 km radius from Delhi, also need to be brought under action by the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA), as mandated by the Supreme Court,” according to a statement.

“This is a great start but our actions need to be comprehensive in terms of tackling big pollution sources through a systematic approach,” said Sunil Dahiya, a Greenpeace campaigner for better air quality.

“Delhi is not the only city where pollution has touched dangerous levels there are other cities such as Patna, Agra, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Ludhiana and Jaipur among others which are virtually, facing health emergency due to high pollution levels,” Dahiya said.

The Badarpur power plant has been shut, diesel generators banned, hundreds of brick kilns ordered to stop production, and if the air quality worsens, Delhiites may have to shell out more as parking fee, possibly four times the current amount.

The Supreme Court-appointed EPCA, a body empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) under which these steps have been taken, made it clear that if needed it will not hesitate to enforce the ‘odd-even’ plan, order cars off roads.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.