Delhi: Construction, industrial operations banned as AQI likely to worsen
Forecasting a spike in air pollution, the Central government's air quality panel invoked Stage 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)—a phased set of emergency anti-pollution measures—in Delhi. Under this stage, a ban has been imposed on construction and demolition activities, and industrial operations in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). The decision was taken at a GRAP sub-committee's review meeting.
Why does this story matter?
- Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was measured at 399 on Friday, which comes into the 'very poor' category.
- Calm winds and stable atmospheric conditions have exacerbated air pollution levels in Delhi and surrounding areas as the capital is gripped by a cold wave.
- Although residents received some respite from the cold, it didn't improve the AQI, which worsened due to foggy conditions.
Essential construction work allowed
Only essential construction work and industrial operations running on fuels included in the standard list of approved fuels for the region are allowed to continue. As per GRAP, restrictive actions must be invoked at least three days in advance if the AQI is projected to slip into the 'severe' category. Stone crushers and mining activities in Delhi-NCR were stopped with immediate effect.
Full order banning contruction activities
Stage 3 of anti-#pollution plan invoked in #Delhi-NCR— HT Delhi (@htdelhi) December 30, 2022
Govt bans construction & demolition activities to prevent air quality from worsening. Track updates https://t.co/xCFECX2WOq pic.twitter.com/xh4utHrjP8
When are GRAP stages invoked
The GRAP has four stages and each stage kicks in with respect to air quality categories. Stage 1 is activated when the AQI reaches the 'poor' category (201 to 300), Stage 2 in the 'very poor' category (301 to 400), and Stage 3 before the AQI deteriorates to the 'severe' category (401 to 450), and stage 4 in the 'severe+' category (450 and above).