Air Quality Commission appeals to citizens to help fight pollution

Air quality in Delhi

The Commission for Air Quality Management Commission in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas has relaxed and rolled back the restrictions under Stage-II of GRAP starting 1 March 2023. The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has been set up for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas for better coordination and resolution of air pollution problem in the Delhi region. The CAQM has developed this GRAP or Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi NCR to ensure timely control and management of air pollution.

The CAQM has found that the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi has significantly improved from 291 (‘Poor’ category) observed on 26 February 2023 to 260 (‘Poor’ category) on 27 February 2023 to 218 (‘Poor’ category) observed on 28 February 2023, and finally to178 (‘Moderate’ category) recorded on 1 March 2023.

In view of this improvement in overall AQI of Delhi, and considering meteorological/ weather forecasts, CAQM reviewed the GRAP stage in force. They also took into account the forecasts which does not indicate the overall AQI of Delhi to slip into ‘Very Poor’ category in the coming days. CAQM has therefore advised to relax and roll back the ongoing restrictions under Stage-II of GRAP in Delhi NCR.

Based on earlier decisions of the CAQM for invoking actions under GRAP, order dated 19 October 2022 for invocation of actions under stage-II was revoked on 01.02.2023. Further, actions under Stage-II of GRAP were re-implemented on 16.02.2023 in view of the air quality forecasts by IITM/ IMD predicting the overall AQI of Delhi to deteriorate from 17.02.2023.

The air quality prediction by IMD/ IITM do not indicate any significant deterioration of air quality of Delhi in the coming days. The coming days are predicted to have highly favourable conditions for dispersion of pollutants because of good wind velocity and high ventilation index. It has therefore been decided by CAQM to revoke the order, issued earlier on 16 February 2023 for implementation of actions under Stage-II of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR.

All actions under Stage-I of GRAP shall however remain invoked and be implemented, monitored and reviewed by all agencies concerned in the entire NCR to ensure that the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR does not deteriorate further in the coming days.

Appeal to Citizens

The Commission has also appealed to all citizens of Delhi NCR to cooperate in implementing GRAP and follow steps mentioned in the Citizen Charter under GRAP.

Citizens are advised to:

  • Keep engines of vehicles viz. cars/ bikes/ scooters etc. properly tuned;
  • Maintain proper air pressure in tyres of vehicles;
  • Keep PUC certificates of vehicles up to date;
  • Not idle vehicles, and turn off the engine at red lights;
  • Not dispose waste or garbage in open spaces;
  • Report air pollution activities through the Green Delhi App

The different 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 all actions of Stage-I under GRAP in the entire NCR. The Commission is closely watching the air quality scenario in the coming days and will review the situation accordingly. The revised schedule of GRAP is available on the Commission’s official website and can be accessed via caqm.nic.in

Swapnil Sharma

Swapnil hails from the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand and loves playing cricket, reading autobiographies and long travels.

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