New Delhi: Starting from today, the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to curb air pollution in Delhi has come into force.

GRAP, which was first implemented in Delhi-NCR in 2017, comprises of strict measures to combat the menace of air pollution and will come into force in Delhi and its adjoining areas such as Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.

The plan basically includes rolling out stricter measures depending on the situation to discourage private vehicles on roads, stop use of diesel generators, close brick kilns and stone crushers.

This year, GRAP will witness the return of Delhi government’s odd-even car rationing scheme from November 4 and the extension of the ban on diesel gen-sets to NCR cities of Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Faridabad, Sonepat, Panipat and Bahadurgarh.

When the air quality turns “poor”, GRAP measures include increasing bus and metro services, hiking parking fees and stopping use of diesel gen-sets.

When it turns “severe”, GRAP recommends closure of brick kilns, stone crushers and hot mix plants, sprinkling of water, frequent mechanised cleaning of roads and maximising power generation from natural gas.

In an emergency situation,GRAP measures include stopping entry of trucks in Delhi, ban on construction and introduction of the odd-even car rationing scheme.

Ahead of the winter season, the air quality in Delhi has begun deteriorating. On October 13, it turned “very poor” with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) going beyond 300 mark. October 14 was no better.

In areas like Anand Vihar, Dwarka, and Vivek Vihar, the air quality was already in ‘very poor’ category, showed data from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). According to news agency ANI, major pollutants PM 2.5 were recorded at 214 and PM 10 at 211, both in ‘poor’ category at Lodhi Road area, on October 15.

(An AQI between 0-50 is marked as ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 is ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’, and 410-500 ‘severe’)

 

Meanwhile, stubble burning which is responsible for 9 % of the pollution, was witnessed in Punjab and Haryana.

Stubble burning has also contributed to an increase in PM2.5 levels- atmospheric particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometres – with the concentration of the pollutant expected to rise to 6 per cent by Tuesday.