Measures under 'stage-1' of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) will be enforced in the national capital region with immediate effect, according to an order issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).
According to the order issued by the CAQM: "It was noted that there has been a sudden dip in air quality parameters in the last 24 hours in the region which led to the AQI for Delhi moving into the "POOR" category. While this is likely to be a localised influence and the forecasts do not predict any further deterioration, in an effort to maintain the AQI in the moderate category, as a precautionary measure, the sub-committee decided that ALL actions as envisaged under Stage I of the GRAP -‘Poor' Air Quality (DELHI AQI ranging between 201-300), be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR."
The CAQM on Wednesday announced an immediate ban on all construction and demolition activity carried over an area of 500 sqm and above that is not registered on the web portals created by the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The decision was taken as Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) worsened to the "poor" category on Wednesday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
GRAP is a set of emergency measures taken to reduce air pollution. The measures include banning construction activities and entry of trucks into Delhi.
There are 24 measures under stage 1 of GRAP, most of which are directions to States for strict implementation of various existing measures to control air pollution.
The measures that kick in with immediate effect include ensuring mechanised sweeping and water sprinkling on roads, enforcing guidelines on the use of anti-smog guns at construction sites, enforcing the ban on open burning of waste and PUC (pollution under control norms) for vehicles. The ban on firecrackers is also to be strictly enforced and DISCOMS are to minimise power supply disruptions.
These measures are to be enforced by the pollution control boards, the local bodies and other agencies and departments including the Transport Department.
The revised GRAP also contains measures to be taken by the public: keeping engines of vehicles properly tuned, turning off the engines at red lights, keeping PUC certificates up to date, maintaining proper tyre pressure in vehicles, and not disposing of waste in open spaces.