New Delhi, November 18
Almost a week after, Delhi residents experienced a welcome change on Saturday as the air quality of the city improved significantly, transitioning from the ‘severe’ category to ‘very poor’ inciting the Commission for Air Quality Management (CQM) to revoke Stage-IV rules of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) across the entire NCR.
According to the air quality bulletin from the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) saw an improvement of approximately 86 points over the past 24 hours, dropping to 319 at 4 pm on Saturday from the previous day’s 405.
Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai attributed the improvement to a slight increase in wind speed since Friday. He mentioned that the AQI level witnessed an improvement of around 100 points, raising hopes for further enhancement in the city’s air quality. This marks the first time that Delhi’s air quality has shifted back to the ‘very poor’ category after the recent spell of severe pollution. There were also positive developments in the air quality of other NCR cities, such as Gurugram, Faridabad, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Sonepat. However, the AQI remained above 300, still categorised as ‘very poor’.
Meanwhile, the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and adjoining areas announced the immediate revocation of Stage-IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) across the entire NCR. The sub-committee of the CAQM had decided to revoke the Stage-IV rules on November 5 with the air quality deteriorated to Severe+ level, with the AQI crossing 450 level.
The decision, made unanimously by the GRAP sub-committee, considered the disruptive nature of Stage-IV measures, impacting numerous stakeholders and the public. With a significant improvement in the average AQI of Delhi-NCR, the committee decided to lift Stage-IV restrictions while maintaining actions under Stages-I to Stage-III. These will be continuously implemented, monitored and reviewed to prevent any further decline in AQI levels.The GRAP, designed as an emergency response action plan, aims to prevent further deterioration of air quality in Delhi- NCR. Stage-IV restrictions, which have now been lifted, included ban on construction activities related to linear public projects in Delhi-NCR and the entry of polluting trucks and commercial four-wheelers into the national capital. Earlier mandates requiring only CNG, electric and BS VI-compliant vehicles from other states to enter Delhi, with exemptions for those engaged in essential services, are now no longer in effect.
Relief for Delhi
- Delhi has heaved a sigh of relief as the air quality bulletin from the Central Pollution Control Board suggested that Delhi’s Air Quality Index saw an improvement of approximately 86 points, dropping to 319 at 4 pm on Saturday from the previous day’s 405.
- This marks the first time that Delhi’s air quality has shifted back to the ‘very poor’ category after the recent spell of severe pollution.
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