Delhi-NCR air pollution: Centre bans non-essential construction work, plying of polluting 4-wheelers

New Delhi: The central government on Sunday ordered a ban on non-essential construction work and plying of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi-NCR amid worsening air quality in the region.
The Commission for Air Quality Management, a statutory body responsible for forming air pollution reduction strategies for the region and their implementation, noted a significant rise in Delhi’s AQI (458 and 457 at 10 am and 11 am) due to unfavourable climatic conditions and local pollution sources.
Anticipating a prolonged period of severe air quality, the committee decided to implement GRAP Stage-III curbs (‘severe’ air quality index (AQI) range) immediately to prevent further deterioration.
The curbs include a ban on non-essential construction work and the plying of BS III petrol and BS IV deisel four-wheelers in the region.
Construction work related to national security or defence, projects of national importance, healthcare, railways, metro rail, airports, inter-state bus terminals, highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines, sanitation and water supply are exempted from the ban.
The Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) is the Centre’s air pollution control plan implemented in the region during the winter season.
It categorises actions into four stages: Stage I – ‘Poor’ (AQI 201-300); Stage II – ‘Very Poor’ (AQI 301-400); Stage III – ‘Severe’ (AQI 401-450); and Stage IV – ‘Severe Plus’ (AQI>450).

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