Delhi-NCR enforces GRAP stage 4 amid severe pollution
Delhi-NCR implements GRAP stage 4 due to 'severe' air pollution crisis
In response to the worsening air quality in the Delhi-NCR region, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has taken swift action by invoking Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The decision came into effect immediately on Sunday and encompasses all the actions outlined in Stages I, II, and III. This move aims to curb further deterioration of air quality in the area.
In Stage IV of GRAP, a comprehensive eight-point action plan has been put in place to combat the 'Severe' air quality situation, which corresponds to Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) reaching 450. These measures include restricting the entry of truck traffic into Delhi, with exceptions for essential goods and services transport, as well as allowing only certain types of vehicles into the city. Diesel-operated Medium Goods Vehicles and Heavy Goods Vehicles registered in Delhi, except those transporting essential goods/services, have been prohibited.
Halting construction and promoting online classes
One notable measure in Stage IV is the suspension of construction and demolition activities in linear public projects like highways, roads, and power transmission, to name a few. Additionally, authorities are encouraging online classes for students in classes VI-IX and class XI instead of physical attendance.
To reduce the density of commuters, public, municipal, and private offices are now permitted to operate at only 50% of their workforce capacity, with the remaining employees encouraged to work from home. Furthermore, the decision on enabling work from home for Central Government office employees will be made by the Central Government.
Further considerations and precautions
State governments are urged to explore additional emergency measures, including potential closures of colleges and educational institutions. The implementation of odd-even vehicle registration number-based restrictions for non-essential commercial activities is also under consideration. CAQM advises people, especially children, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions, to minimize outdoor activities and stay indoors to protect their health in the face of severe air pollution.