Air quality in Delhi-NCR at severe level, govt reimposes ban on construction

For representational purpose. (File photo)

New Delhi: With temperatures falling down, the air quality in Delhi-NCR has reached the severe category, forcing the government to reimpose the Stage-III of GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan) and ban construction works in entire NCR except for Railways, Delhi Metro and some other departments.

The air quality index (AQI) at various hotspots in Delhi-NCR reached severe category, including in Mathura Road (440), Patparganj (448), Nehru Nagar (462), Sahibabad (452) and Noida Sector-62 (426).

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has ordered to reinforce strict ban on construction and demolition activities in the entire NCR and a nine-point action plan as per Stage-III of GRAP became applicable with immediate effect from Friday.

This is in addition to the preventive and restrictive actions under Stage-I and Stage-II of GRAP, which are already in place.

Delhi’s overall AQI spiked to 438 on Friday, as per the AQI bulletin provided by the CPCB.

The nine-point action plan includes steps to be implemented and ensured by different agencies and the pollution control boards of NCR, including the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

This includes intensified frequency of mechanised and vacuum-based sweeping of roads, daily water sprinkling along with use of dust suppressants before peak traffic hours.

The agencies must check the hotspots on roads and right ways, including the heavy traffic corridors.

Before releasing the order, a meeting was held with the sub-committee which comprehensively reviewed the air quality scenario in the NCR as well as the forecasts for meteorological conditions and AQI of Delhi.

While assessing the overall air quality parameters, the sub-committee noted that the air quality had suddenly and unexpectedly deteriorated owing to dense foggy conditions without much sunlight and very low temperatures, coupled with calm winds and stable atmospheric conditions.

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