Measures to control air pollution in Delhi-NCR will be toughened starting next week as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority said Monday. EPCA is also looking at increasing parking charges during this time to avoid congestion.
Use of diesel generator sets will be banned in Delhi and NCR towns starting October 15, as scientists have forecast a dip in air quality levels next week.
This will be the first time that NCR towns of Noida, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad will be included in the diesel generator ban and implementation will require regular power supply in these areas.
“Delhi banned its use last year and it is time for NCR towns in the vicinity to do so as well. We need a commitment from state governments that they will ensure 24×7 power supply in these areas for the plan to be successful,” said Sunita Narain, EPCA member, at a meeting held Monday.
GRAP was notified in 2017 and includes a set of guidelines to follow and action to take when air quality deteriorates.
The categories — moderate, very poor, severe and severe plus — include incremental measures to be taken to control pollution. Measures for ‘very poor’ air quality are enforced when PM 2.5 concentration is between 121-250µg/m3 or PM10 concentration is between 351-430 µg/m3.
EPCA also told the Delhi government to fix fresh charges under the new parking policy, which states that surface parking will be more expensive than at multi-level parking spots. Under the ‘very poor’ GRAP category, parking charges can be raised 3-4 times the original amount to discourage people from driving and use public transport.
The Delhi government has recognised 13 pollution hotspots, and specific monitoring and action plans will be made to tackle each area. According to SAFAR officials, change in wind direction after monsoons will lead to calm winds, which leads to accumulation of pollutants.