New Delhi | The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Sunday decided to invoke Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the entire National Capital Region (NCR) with immediate effect to prevent further deterioration of air quality.
The Air Quality Commission said that Stage IV will be implemented in addition to the restrictions placed under Stage I to III.
"Keeping in view the prevailing trend of air quality and in an effort to prevent further deterioration of air quality in the region, the Sub-Committee today has taken the call to invoke all actions as envisaged under Stage-IV of GRAP 'Severe+' Air Quality (Delhi's AQI; 450), with immediate effect in the entire NCR. This is in addition to the preventive and restrictive actions mentioned under Stage 1, Stage II, and Stage III of GRAP," an official notification issued by CAQM read.
According to the 8-point action plan, there will be a ban on entry of truck traffic into Delhi (except for trucks carrying essential commodities/ providing essential services and all LNG/ CNG/ electric trucks). Also, a ban will be imposed on the plying of Delhi-registered diesel-operated Medium Goods Vehicles (MGVs) and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in Delhi, except those carrying essential commodities/ providing essential services.
GRAP Stage-IV restrictions also include NCR State Govts and GNCTD may take a decision on discontinuing physical classes even for classes VI-IX, and class XI and conduct lessons in an online mode.
"NCR State Governments / GNCTD to take a decision on allowing public, municipal and private offices to work on 50 per cent strength and the rest to work from home. State Governments may consider additional emergency measures like the closure of colleges/ educational institutions non-emergency and closure commercial of activities, permitting running of vehicles on odd-even basis of registration numbers etc," the 8-point action plan read.
In this regard, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has called a meeting of all concerned departments on Monday in view of the increasing pollution and to strictly implement GRAP-4.
Meanwhile, on the fourth consecutive day, the air quality in Delhi remained in the 'Severe' category on Sunday though with a marginal dip in the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 410 against 504 on Saturday, as per System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR-India).
As the Air Quality Index (AQI) in several parts of Delhi-NCR is reeling under the 'severe' category, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday sought responses from the Chief Secretaries of the affected states and directed to take immediate remedial action and submit the action taken report before the Tribunal.
NGT in a statement said that immediate action is required for the prevention and control of air pollution in these cities so as to ensure better air quality to the residents.