Air pollution: Delhi – NCR region curbs lifted as AQI improves slightly
The Centre’s air quality panel has directed the authorities to lift the ban on use of non-BS VI diesel run light motor vehicles in the Delhi – NCR region and also entry of trucks into the capital that were imposed under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to tackle air pollution in the region three days ago.
“As the present AQI level of Delhi is around 339 which is about 111 AQI points below the threshold for invoking the GRAP Stage-IV actions (Delhi AQI > 450) and preventive/ mitigative/ restrictive actions under all stages up to Stage-IV are underway, there is a likelihood of sustaining the improvement in AQI. The forecast by IMD/ IITM also does not indicate any steep degradation further,” an order from the Commission for Air Quality Management read.
GRAP stage IV includes disruptive restrictions that impact a large number of stakeholders and the public. There are no stricter measures, than those included in GRAP Stage-IV that can be imposed in order to improve the air quality scenario, the commission has underlined. “The sub-committee, accordingly, hereby decides to revoke the order, issued vide dated November 3, 2022, for actions under Stage-IV of GRAP with immediate effect,” it said. But the restrictions imposed under GRAP stage I to III still remain in place and will be monitored by all concerned agencies in the entire Delhi – NCR region.
Delhi’s air pollution levels ameliorated marginally to the lower end of the “very poor” category on Sunday primarily due to favourable wind speed and a drop in the contribution of stubble burning, as mentioned by The First Post. The 24 hour average air quality index stood at 339 at 4 pm, dropping from 381 a day ago, while it was 447 on Friday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.
Stubble burning is one of the major factors contributing to air pollution in north India. Farm fire incidents have reportedly crossed the 30,000 mark in Punjab with 2,487 stubble-burning cases being witnessed by the state on Monday. “With fresh crop residue burning incidents, the cumulative farm fire cases from September 15 to November 7, rose to 32,486,” according to the Ludhiana-based Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data.