As Delhi is observing improvement in the Air Quality Index (AQI), the government has made some much-needed changes in the GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan) that was invoked last week. The Delhi government has now revoked the GRAP and has allowed the entry of non-BS6 diesel vehicles, which was earlier restricted under the new strategy to curb pollution. The GRAP also invoked a ban on private BS4 and BS4 diesel cars. Before the ban was lifted, Delhi Traffic Police were stopped from entering Delhi, while over 1,200 diesel light motor vehicles were impounded under the GRAP.
Sub-Committee revokes the order, issued on 3rd November 2022, for actions under Stage-IV of the GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan in Delhi-NCR) with immediate effect. Actions under Stages-I to Stage-III of GRAP shall however remain invoked & be implemented, monitored & reviewed. pic.twitter.com/uUP81U2WDi
— ANI (@ANI) November 6, 2022
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will chair a high-level meeting Monday to discuss the new directions by the Centre’s air quality panel about revoking curbs imposed under the final stage of the Graded Response Action Plan, officials said.
A decision on reopening primary schools and revocation of the order asking 50 per cent of the government staff to work from home is likely to be taken at the meeting. The Centre’s air quality panel on Sunday had directed authorities to lift the ban on plying non-BS VI diesel-run light motor vehicles in Delhi-NCR and entry of trucks into the capital imposed under the final stage of the Graded Response Action Plan.
The restrictions were imposed three days ago. As Delhi’s air quality index spiralled to 450, just a notch short of the “severe plus” category, on Thursday, the Commission of Air Quality Management directed authorities to ban the plying of non-BS VI diesel light motor vehicles in the city and adjoining NCR districts and the entry of trucks into the national capital as part of anti-pollution measures under stage IV of GRAP.
The high pollution levels prompted the Delhi government to announce additional measures on Friday, including the closure of primary schools from Saturday and work from home for 50 per cent of its staff.
As the air pollution in the capital ameliorated marginally to the lower end of the “very poor” category on Sunday, the CAQM directed authorities to lift the curbs. The decision regarding revoking the work-from-home order and reopening primary schools has to be taken by the Delhi government.
With inputs from agencies