Overall Air Quality Over Delhi-NCR Likely To Improve In The Coming Days

Overall Air Quality Over Delhi-NCR Likely To Improve In The Coming Days

New Delhi, Nov 7 (TNA) In view of significant improvement in the overall air quality of the Delhi-NCR seen in the past few days after invocation of Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), the Sub-Committee for invoking actions under GRAP of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) held a meeting on Sunday to review the situation and take the appropriate call on the stringent actions under Stage IV of GRAP implemented in the entire National Capital Region on November 3.

While comprehensively reviewing the overall air quality parameters of Delhi-NCR, the Commission noted that due to forecast by IMD/ IITM not indicating any steep degradation in the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR in the coming days, it is advisable to relax the restrictions and further roll back Stage IV of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR. The GRAP Sub-Committee in its last meeting held on 03.11.2022 invoked Stage IV of GRAP in the entire NCR and decided to review its impact on 06.11.2022.

The GRAP Sub-Committee in its earlier meetings had invoked actions under Stage I, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV of the GRAP on 05.10.2022, 19.10.2022, 29.10.2022 and 03.11.2022 respectively. The Sub-Committee in today’s meeting reviewed the air quality scenario in the region as well as the IMD/IITM forecasts for meteorological conditions and air quality index of Delhi.

The GRAP Stage-IV is a disruptive stage of restrictions and impacts a large number of stakeholders and public at large. There are no stricter measures, than as laid in GRAP Stage-IV, that could be taken to improve upon the air quality scenario.

The GRAP is an emergency response action plan invoked with a view to arrest further deterioration of adverse air quality scenario in NCR. In wake of the Delhi AQI nearing the ‘Severe +’ Category (AQI >450), the GRAP Stage-IV actions were invoked on 03.11.2022 based on the AQI forecasts. The forecasts also indicated a significant improvement around 5th - 6th November, 2022, therefore, the sub-Committee while invoking Stage-IV of the GRAP, decided for a review of the situation on 6th November, 2022.

The average AQI of Delhi for 6th November, 2022 has been recorded as 339 (‘Very Poor’ Category), corroborating with the IMD/IITM forecast of an improvement. As the present AQI level of Delhi is around 340 which is about 110 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 do not indicate any steep degradation further.

In view of the aforesaid observations, the GRAP Sub-Committee has decided to revoke the order, issued vide dated 03.11.2022, for actions under Stage-IV of the GRAP with immediate effect. Further, actions under Stages I, Stage II and Stage III of the GRAP shall however remain invoked and be implemented, monitored and reviewed by all agencies concerned in the entire NCR to ensure that the AQI levels do not slip further to the ‘Severe’/ ‘Severe +’ category.

The sub-Committee shall be keeping a close watch on the air quality scenario and may take appropriate decisions depending on the air quality, as recorded from time to time, and the forecasts made by IMD/IITM to this effect. Further, the Commission has once again appealed to the citizens of NCR to cooperate in implementing GRAP and follow the steps mentioned in the Citizen Charter under GRAP.

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