Diesel generator sets will be banned in Delhi-NCR from Thursday as the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) — to curb air pollution in the city — comes into effect. Banning of diesel gensets is a constant cause of power-cut worries as thousands of residents of NCR towns are still not linked to the power grid. On Wednesday, the AQI in Delhi was ‘poor’ with a value of 276. On Tuesday, this value was 300, with PM 2.5 and PM 10 as primary pollutants.
The Delhi government, meanwhile, announced that the use of diesel generators will be allowed only in hospitals or nursing homes, lifts and escalators, Railway services, Delhi Metro, airports and inter-state bus terminals, and the National Information Centre data centre.
Under GRAP, several pollution control measures come into effect as the concentration of pollutants in the air increases.
For example, when air quality is ‘very poor’, parking fee is to be enhanced to push people to use public transport, and use of coal in restaurants is to be stopped. When it turns ‘severe’, brick kilns and hot mix plants have to shut and mechanised sweeping of roads is to be increased. At the ‘severe plus’ category, entry of trucks into Delhi and construction activities has to be stopped, and odd-even road rationing has to be introduced.
Apart from banning the use of generator sets, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority also asked the Delhi government to ensure that pollution is controlled in the 13 hotspots in the city, a long-term solution for disposal of solid waste is prepared and put into action and roads be cleaned twice a day using vacuum cleaners.
In dry Delhi winters, dust is a prime cause of concern. The Delhi government has asked all land-owning agencies and municipal corporations to adhere to the guidelines and submit reports to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
Delhi environment minister, Gopal Rai, meanwhile, visited Chandni Chowk construction site Wednesday to inspect for dust pollution. Over the past week, Rai has visited several construction sites and imposed costs on sites where dust measures were not being followed.
Rai said that at Chandni Chowk, which is a Delhi PWD department site, no violations were found. “We got several complaints regarding violation of anti-dust pollution guidelines but today when I visited the spot no violation was found. Officials here told me that to prevent dust pollution, four water tankers have been installed and water sprinkling is going on. They said that the people of the area dump debris here at night, so we instructed the officials to clean up the debris which is here. To do this PWD and MCD will work together,” he said.
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