The Sub-Committee responsible for implementing the updated Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) has conducted a thorough assessment of the air quality situation in Delhi, taking into consideration the meteorological forecasts and the Air Quality Index (AQI). This evaluation revealed that on Saturday, the air quality in the national capital significantly worsened, reaching the 'severe' category. Delhi found itself shrouded in a hazardous smog, marking a concerning deterioration in the overall air quality.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has deployed 517 teams, comprising a total of 1,119 officers, for the purpose of overseeing various activities, which include monitoring instances of open burning, preventing the unauthorized disposal of construction and demolition (C&D) waste, conducting inspections at construction sites, and supervising the control of road dust.
While pollution levels in the national capital saw a slight decrease, dropping from 475 yesterday to 470 today, it's important to note that the concentration of PM 2.5 remained more than 8 times higher than the healthy limit recommended by the World Health Organization. The city's Air Quality Index (AQI) surged from 351 at 10 am on Thursday to 471 by 9:00 am on Friday.
As the Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed the 400-mark on Thursday, reaching the "severe" category, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the closure of all primary schools for the upcoming two days, which include Friday and Saturday.
The Commission for Air Quality Management has activated Stage-III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP-III). During this stage, all non-essential construction and demolition projects are prohibited in the NCR region, with exceptions for activities related to the Railways, Metro, airports, healthcare facilities, defense and national security, sanitation and water supply, highways, flyovers, pipelines, and roads.
As per the guidelines of Stage III of the updated GRAP and in accordance with Section 115 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, it is now mandated that BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel vehicles (four-wheelers) shall not be allowed to operate in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, starting immediately until further notice. Exceptions apply to vehicles engaged in emergency services, police vehicles, and government vehicles used for enforcement purposes.If any BS-III petrol or BS-IV diesel four-wheelers are seen on the roads, they will face legal action under Section 194(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. This could result in a fine of Rs. 20,000/-