Delhi's ban on diesel generator sets lifted as AQI improves
The central government's expert panel on air quality has decided to lift the ban on the use of diesel generator sets in the national capital region (NCR), including Delhi, with immediate effect. The decision has been taken as air quality in Delhi-NCR has improved over the past few days. The ban had been in place since October 28, 2021.
- The ban has been lifted after nearly four months as air quality improves.
- Delhi has been labeled the world's most polluted capital city for the past several years, raising concerns for residents.
- During winter months each year, the national capital's air quality plunges to hazardous levels owing to the effect of stubble burning, transport emissions, coal-fired power plants, and bursting of firecrackers on Diwali.
The decision to lift the ban had been taken in a key meeting to review the air quality situation. It was held on Wednesday and chaired by Prashant Gargava, member secretary on the Central Pollution Control Board. The Board's order stated that the air quality index (AQI) had been between "moderate" and "poor" levels over the last several days.
"As per the inputs received from the representative from IMD during the meeting, the air quality in Delhi is not likely to reach the very poor category and is expected to get better in...coming days due to improved meteorological conditions," the committee said. "Based on this forecast and prediction, the sub-committee on GRAP has decided that the measures under 'Very Poor' category...be lifted (sic)."
On Friday morning, Delhi recorded an overall AQI of 232, which falls in the "poor" category. The day before, the city's AQI stood at 241, also in the "poor" category. However, on February 19 and February 20, the AQI is likely to improve due to strong winds and better dispersion, according to the SAFAR forecasting system.