Delhi Air Pollution: Diesel generators banned; cars may be next!
As Delhi continues to reach dangerously high air pollution levels, diesel generators have been banned, under the new Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) enforced today to combat pollution. In another major move, parking charges for vehicles may also be increased at least by four times. Authorities said more stringent measures, including banning the cars, may be taken if the situation worsens. Read more!
New Delhi's dwindling air quality
As Delhi's air quality worsened reaching the red-zone, Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had to implement some stringent rules. EPCA Chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narain announced their decision to enforce new and severe measures to battle the city's air pollution. Authorities said the pollution levels in the national capital are out of control, so Delhi's government is combating the deadly problem.
Series of measures to be taken based on severity
EPCA's Narain said though Delhi's parking policy isn't ready, they may hike the parking fees to discourage people from using cars and further polluting the air. She said if the pollution reaches alarming levels, "cars will have to be off the roads" under GRAP. Under the plan, a series of strict measures would be taken depending on the pollution's severity in the coming days.
Central Pollution Control Board splits graded response system into categories
When PM2.5 levels are between 60-120 the air-quality is "moderate to poor", and when the numbers reach 250, it falls under "very poor". PM2.5 levels between 250-300 are "severe", and anything beyond this is either "severe-plus" or "emergency". Certain emergency measures would be automatically implemented when PM2.5 levels above 300 and PM10 levels beyond 500 are recorded for two consecutive days.
Measures: Construction bans and implementation of odd-even car system
Emergency measures under the plan include a ban on construction activities and Delhi Government applying the odd-even car formula within 48 hours of pollution levels crossing "severe-plus" mark in Delhi-NCR. Alerts will be sent to people in "very poor" stage. Parking charges will be multiplied 3-4 times, and diesel-generator-sets will be banned. Once the air-quality becomes "severe", industries and brick kilns would stop operating.
New measures come into force
Measures under the GRAP, falling categories of "very poor" and "severe" have come into force today in Delhi. Also, the controversial Badarpur Thermal Plant has been shut down under the action plan. Earlier, the Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers for Diwali in Delhi.