New Delhi: Delhi’s poor air quality has been a matter of concern and has had the Supreme Court giving directions on the same. Responding to SC directions, the environment pollution control authority assured on Tuesday that action would be taken to check pollution in the region. Authority’s chairman Bhure Lal told ANI, “From November 1, our graded response action plan (GRAP) will be implemented. Let us hope Delhi air pollution situation doesn’t deteriorate or else we will have to stop plying of private vehicles, only public transport will be used.” On Monday, the apex court had permitted the EPCA to take pre-emptive steps under GRAP without strict adherence to pollution stages delineated in the plan. (Also read: Polluted Air Killed Most Kids in India in 2016)
The graded response action plan lists out measures to be taken based on the air quality. Under the plan, emergency measures would be enforced in the NCR region if the level of PM 2.5 breaches 300 microgram per cubic metre and PM 10 stays above 500 for two days in a row. In the case of ‘very poor’ air quality, it recommends banning diesel generators and increasing the parking fee by three to four times.
The alarming level of air pollution has choked the Delhi NCR region as heavy stubble burning the neighbouring states has deteriorated the air quality. A thick haze due to smog continued to hover over the national capital during the day. The Supreme Court prohibited the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the NCR and made it clear that such vehicles would be impounded if found on roads in Delhi-NCR.
The top court directed that a list of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles be published on the website of the pollution control board and transport departments of the NCR area. A bench of justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said a “meaningful advertisement” should be published in a local newspaper for the convenience of the owners of these vehicles.
The bench directed that a social media account be created where citizens could lodge their complaint about pollution directly “to be acted upon by the task force responsible for implementation of GRAP.”