The Sub-Committee for invoking actions under Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) has announced the rollback of Stage-II restrictions due to the significant improvement of the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi. The AQI has dropped from 291 (upper-end of ‘Poor’ category) observed on 26.02.2023 to 178 (‘Moderate’ category) recorded on 28.02.2023.
The decision to roll back Stage-II restrictions comes after a review of the current air quality scenario, which includes meteorological and weather forecasts by IITM/IMD. The Sub-Committee noted that the overall AQI of Delhi is likely to remain in the ‘Moderate’ category, and there is no indication that it will slip into the ‘Very Poor’ category in the coming days.
Relaxation of Stage-II Restrictions
The relaxation of Stage-II restrictions in the entire NCR is effective immediately. However, all actions under Stage-I of GRAP shall remain invoked, monitored, and reviewed by all concerned agencies in the entire NCR to ensure that the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR does not deteriorate further in the coming days.
Appeal to Citizens
The Commission appeals 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 keep their vehicles’ engines properly tuned, maintain proper air pressure in tires, keep PUC certificates up to date, not idle their vehicles, and dispose of waste/garbage in designated areas. Citizens can also report air pollution activities through various apps like 311 App, Green Delhi App, SAMEER App, etc.
Strict Implementation of Measures
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 all actions of Stage-I under GRAP in the entire NCR.
The decision to roll back Stage-II restrictions is a welcome relief for the residents of Delhi-NCR. The improvement in air quality is a positive development and a step in the right direction towards a cleaner and healthier environment. It is essential to maintain this momentum and continue taking measures to ensure that the air quality remains in the ‘Moderate’ category or better.