NEW DELHI: In a persistent battle against air pollution, the national capital woke up to ‘very poor’ air quality on Monday morning, registering an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 310. Despite the implementation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) Stage 4 measures, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR-India) reported an overall AQI at 310 around 8:30 am.
According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data recorded at 7:00 am, specific areas in Delhi witnessed diverse AQI readings. Anand Vihar recorded 361, Alipur at 368, Ashok Vihar at 342, ITO, Delhi at 318, and RK Puram at 344, all falling into the ‘very poor’ category.
#WATCH | Delhi: The Air Quality Index (AQI) remains in the ‘Very Poor’ category in the national capital as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
GRAP-4 Measures Lifted
Despite the lifting of restrictions under GRAP-4 due to improved air quality, Environment Minister Gopal Rai emphasized the need for continued caution. He urged citizens to adhere to rules, highlighting that stages 1, 2, and 3 of GRAP remain in effect to combat air pollution in the national capital.
Gopal Rai stated, “Though there has been a constant improvement in air quality, people still need to be aware to maintain this improvement.” He stressed the importance of remaining vigilant and cautious, pointing out that post-Diwali, laxity led to an increase in AQI.
With the air quality showing signs of improvement, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) revoked GRAP-4 restrictions, allowing the entry of trucks and buses (excluding BS-3 and BS-4 vehicles) and permitting the resumption of construction activities.
Gopal Rai clarified that GRAP-1, GRAP-2, and GRAP-3 restrictions persist. Further relaxation of these restrictions will be considered upon continuous improvement in pollution levels.
Regarding vehicle restrictions, Gopal Rai highlighted the removal of the ban on trucks but specified that it persists for BS3 petrol and BS4 diesel vehicles. Linear projects halted under GRAP-4, including roads, flyovers, and foot-over bridges, have been granted permission to resume.
Gopal Rai listed areas where construction work is allowed, including railway and metro projects, airports, and national security-related projects. However, certain activities, such as boring, digging, structural construction, and loading/unloading of construction material at project sites, remain prohibited. He emphasized the distinction between GRAP-4 and GRAP-3 restrictions, noting that while GRAP-4 restrictions have been lifted, GRAP-3 restrictions are still in force.
Special Task Force For Implementation Of GRAP Measures
Earlier, Gopal Rai announced the formation of a 6-member special task force led by the Environment Special Secretary to ensure the proper implementation and monitoring of GRAP rules.