Delhi Govt’s Action Plan to control pollution comes into effect

Past few days have been very critical for the Delhiites due to increased pollution levels in the environment. Hence seeing this, the state government has implemented an emergency action plan to keep the impending air pollution in check. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi’s air quality has already deteriorated to 'poor'. Moreover, officials believe that it will worsen or turn to 'very poor' in the next few days.

Government’s emergency plan is named ‘Graded Response Action Plan’ (GRAP), under which strict actions will be implemented across the city. An official said that if the quality of air remains ‘moderate to poor’ then garbage or waste burning in landfills and other places will be stopped. Also the pollution control regulations in brick kilns and industries will be imposed. But if the air quality drops to ‘very poor’ then additional steps like stopping the use of diesel generators, hiking parking fees by 3 to 4 times, increasing metro as well as buses frequency will be undertaken, the official added.

If air quality further falls to ‘severe’, then more measures that includes - increasing frequency of mechanized road cleaning, spraying of water on roads and recognizing road stretches with high dust generation will be executed. Furthermore, if the air quality turns to ‘severe plus emergency’ category then entry of trucks (excluding essential commodities) into the city and constructions will be stopped.  A task force will also be chosen to take additional steps including closing of schools.

The board has deployed 41 teams across Delhi-NCR to check proper implementation of norms imposed to prevent pollution at the source. Till last Thursday, 96 inspections were carried out by the teams across Delhi-NCR. A senior official told that the inspections are likely to strengthen in the upcoming days.

Meanwhile, satellite images from NASA spotted widespread stubble burning activity in neighboring Punjab and Haryana. NASA also stated that burning of crop residue in Haryana and Punjab has mounted significantly over the past few days in and near Ambala, Amritsar, Siras Karnal and Hisar.

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