A view of Kartavya Path in New Delhi on November 1, 2022.
A view of Kartavya Path in New Delhi on November 1, 2022.Wasim Sarvar/IANS

CAQM revokes Stage IV of GRAP in NCR as air quality improves

Stage III of GRAP, along with Stage I and Stage II, to continue

New Delhi, November 7, 2022

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Adjoining Areas has decided to revoke Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the entire NCR with immediate effect in view of the significant improvement in the overall air quality of Delhi and surrounding areas in the past few days.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Sub-Commitee of CAQM for invoking actions under GRAP here yesterday to review the situation and take the appropriate call on the stringent actions under Stage IV of GRAP implemented in the entire NCR on November 3.

In a comprehensive review of the overall air quality parameters of Delhi-NCR, the Commission noted that, due to the fact that the forecast by IMD/ IITM did not indicate any steep degradation in the overall air quality of the region 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 November 3 had invoked Stage IV of GRAP in the entire NCR and decided to review its impact on November 6.

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 October 5, October 19, October 29 and November 3, respectively.

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 November 3 based on the AQI forecasts. The forecasts also indicated a significant improvement around November 5-6 and the sub-committee had, therefore, decided to review the situation on November 6.

The average AQI of Delhi for November 6 was 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," the sub-committee said.

"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.

"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," the release quoted the sub-committee as saying.

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, it said.

The sub-committee will keep 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, it said.

"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. Citizens are advised to:

Choose a cleaner commute - share a ride to work or use public transport or walk or cycle.

People, whose positions allow working from home, may work from home.

Do not use coal and wood for heating purpose.

Individual house owners may provide electric heaters (during winters) to security staff to avoid open burning.

Carry out multiple tasks in a single trip. Walk to errands wherever possible.

Various agencies responsible for implementing measures under GRAP and Pollution Control Boards (PCBs) of NCR and DPCC have also been advised to ensure strict implementation of actions of Stage I, Stage II and Stage III under GRAP in the NCR," the release added.

The revised schedule of GRAP is available on the Commission’s website.

NNN

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