To address the deteriorating air quality of the National Capital Region, the Sub-Committee for invoking actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) held an emergency meeting today. The Commission while comprehensively reviewing the overall air quality parameters during the meeting noted that due to unfavorable meteorological conditions with slower wind speed and sudden spike in the farm fire incidents, it is considered necessary to implement Stage III of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR.
As per the dynamic model and weather/ meteorological forecast, the overall air quality over Delhi is likely to remain in Very Poor to Severe category from 29.10.2022 and 30.10.2022. The air quality is likely to deteriorate and remain in Severe category from 31.10.2022 to 01.11.2022 and for the subsequent 6 Days, the air quality is likely to fluctuate between Severe to Very Poor category. The winds are forecasted to be CALM in the coming days and the wind direction is likely to change course frequently. Thus, there is a high likelihood of the pollutants getting trapped in the region and not getting dispersed effectively.
The Sub-committee exhaustively reviewed the air quality scenario in the region and noted that the air quality parameters are likely to dip in the coming days and in an effort to address the AQI of Delhi-NCR, the sub-committee today has taken the call to invoke all actions as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP – ‘Severe’ Air Quality (DELHI AQI ranging between 401-450), today with immediate effect in the entire NCR. This is in addition to the restrictive actions mentioned in Stage I and Stage II of GRAP. Various agencies responsible for implementing measures under GRAP and Pollution Control Boards (PCBs) of NCR and DPCC have also been advised to ensure strict implementation of actions of Stage III under GRAP during this period.
Further, the CAQM appeals to the citizens of NCR to cooperate in implementing GRAP and follow the steps mentioned in the Citizen Charter under GRAP. Citizens are advised to:
- Choose a cleaner commute – share a ride to work or use public transport or walk or cycle.
- People, whose positions allow working from home, may work from home.
- Do not use coal and wood for heating purpose.
- Individual house owners may provide electric heaters (during winters) to security staff to avoid open burning.
- Combine errands and reduce trips. Walk to errands wherever possible.
Apart from that, a 9-point action plan as per Stage III of GRAP is applicable with immediate effect from today in the entire NCR. This 9-point action plan includes steps to be implemented/ ensured by different agencies and Pollution Control Boards of NCR and DPCC. These steps are:
- Intensified frequency of mechanised/ vacuum-based sweeping of roads
- Daily water sprinkling along with use of dust suppressants, before peak traffic hours, on roads and right of ways including hotspots, heavy traffic corridors and proper disposal of the collected dust in designated sites/ landfills.
- Intensification of public transport services. Introduce differential rates to encourage offpeak travel
- Construction & Demolition activities:
(i) Enforce strict ban on construction and demolition activities in the entire NCR, except for the following categories of projects:
- Railway services / Railway stations
- Metro Rail Services including stations.
- Airports and Inter State Bus Terminals.
- National security/ defence related activities/ projects of national importance;
- Hospitals/ health care facilities.
- Linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, over bridges, power transmission, pipelines etc.
- Sanitation projects like sewage treatment plants and water supply projects etc.;
- Ancillary activities specific to and supplementing above categories of projects.
Note: The above exemptions shall be further subject to strict compliance of the C&D Waste Management Rules, dust prevention/ control norms including compliance with the directions of the Commission issued from time to time in this regard.
(ii) Other than the projects exempted under (i) above, dust generating/ air pollution causing C&D activities to be strictly banned during this period shall include:
- Earthwork for excavation and filling including boring & drilling works.
- All structural construction works including fabrication and welding operations.
- Demolition works.
- Loading & unloading of construction materials anywhere within or outside the project sites.
- Transfer of raw materials either manually or through conveyor belts, including fly ash.
- Movement of vehicles on unpaved roads.
- Operation of batching plant.
- Laying of sewer line, waterline, drainage work and electric cabling by open trench system.
- Cutting and fixing of tiles, stones and other flooring materials.
- Grinding activities.
- Piling work.
- Water Proofing work.
- Road construction/ repair works including paving of sidewalks / pathways and central verges etc.
(iii) For all construction projects in NCR, non-polluting / non-dust generating activities such as plumbing works, interior decoration, electrical works and carpentry related works shall be permitted to be continued.
- Industrial operations
- For industrial areas having PNG infrastructure and supply:
Strictly enforce closure / ban on such industries/ operations not running on fuels as in the standard list of approved fuels for NCR.
- For industrial areas not having PNG infrastructure and supply:
Regulate operations of such industries not using any of the fuels as per the standard list of approved fuels for NCR, to operate only for maximum 5 days a week as under (till 31.12.2022):
(i) Paper and pulp processing, distilleries and captive thermal power plants – to remain inoperative on Saturdays and Sundays.
(ii) Paddy / rice processing units – to remain inoperative on Mondays and Tuesdays.
(iii) Textile/ garments and apparels including dyeing processes – to remain inoperative on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
(iv) Other industries not falling in the above noted categories – to remain inoperative on Fridays and Saturdays.
- With effect from 01.01.2023, strictly enforce closure/ ban in the entire NCR, on such industries/ operations not running on fuels, as in the standard list of approved fuels for NCR.
Note: Milk & dairy units and those involved in manufacturing of life saving medical equipment/devices, drugs and medicines shall, however be exempted from the above restrictions.
- Close brick kilns, hot mix plants which are not operating on fuels, as in the standard list of approved fuels for NCR.
- Close down operations of stone crushers.
- Ban / Close down mining and associated activities in the NCR.
- State Governments in NCR/ GNCTD may impose restrictions on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel LMVs (4 wheelers).
The revised schedule of GRAP is available on the Commission’s website and can be accessed via caqm.nic.in
To prevent further deterioration of air quality, the GRAP Sub-Committee decides to invoke Stage III of GRAP in the entire NCR with immediate effect.
— Commission for Air Quality Management (@CAQM_Official) October 29, 2022