More restrictions were imposed in the national capital on Saturday evening after the air quality index (AQI) slipped into ‘severe’ category. As per an official notification, construction work and demolition activities will be prohibited in Delhi (except for essential projects) till further orders.
The new set of restrictions were imposed in Delhi under GRAP stage 3. The GRAP Sub-Committee has decided to implement Stage III of GRAP in the entire NCR in a move to prevent further deterioration of air quality.
“All actions as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP – ‘Severe’ Air Quality, to be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR,” the official notification read.
According to the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), the Stage 3 of GRAP was implemented due to unfavorable meteorological conditions with slower wind speeds and a sudden spike in farm fire incidents.
“Due to unfavorable meteorological conditions with slower wind speed and sudden spike in the farm fire incidents, it was considered necessary to implement Stage III of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR,” CAQM stated.
The new restrictions are in addition to the restrictive actions mentioned in Stage I and Stage II of GRAP.
Various agencies responsible for implementing measures under GRAP and Pollution Control Boards (PCBs) of NCR and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) have also been advised to ensure strict implementation of actions of Stage III under GRAP during this period.
CAQM further listed a 9-point action plan as per Stage III of GRAP. This action plan includes steps to be implemented/ ensured by different agencies and Pollution Control Boards of NCR and DPCC.
Here’s the full plan:
- Intensified frequency of mechanised/ vacuum-based sweeping of roads
- Daily water sprinkling along with use of dust suppressants, before peak traffic hours, on roads and right of ways including hotspots, heavy traffic corridors and proper disposal of the collected dust in designated sites/ landfills.
- Intensify public transport
(i) Introduce different work and off peak timings for travel
4. Construction & Demolition activities:
(i) Enforce strict ban on construction and demolition activities in the entire NCR, except for the following categories of projects:
a) Railway services / Railway stations
b) Metro Rail Services including stations.
c) Airports and Inter State Bus Terminals.
d) National security/ defence related activities/ projects of national
e) Hospitals/ health care facilities.
f) Linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, over bridges, power
transmission, pipelines etc.
g) Sanitation projects like sewage treatment plants and water supply projects
h) Ancillary activities specific to and supplementing above categories of
Note: The above exemptions shall be further subject to strict compliance of the C&D Waste Management Rules, dust prevention/ control norms including compliance with the directions of the Commission issued from time to time in this regard.
(ii) Other than the projects exempted under (i) above, dust generating/ air pollution causing C&D activities to be strictly banned during this period shall include:
a) Earthwork for excavation and filling including boring & drilling works.
b) All structural construction works including fabrication and welding operations.
c) Demolition works.
d) Loading & unloading of construction materials anywhere within or outside the project sites.
e) Transfer of raw materials either manually or through conveyor belts, including fly ash.
f) Movement of vehicles on unpaved roads.
g) Operation of batching plant.
h) Laying of sewer line, waterline, drainage work and electric cabling by open trench system.
i) Cutting and fixing of tiles, stones and other flooring materials.
j) Grinding activities.
k) Piling work.
l) Water Proofing work.
Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index stood at 397 at 4 pm, the worst since January. It was 354 on Thursday, 271 on Wednesday, 302 on Tuesday and 312 on Monday (Diwali), news agency PTI reported.