air quality: Centre’s air quality panel likely to review curbs under GRAP’s stage 3 on Friday

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The Centre’s air quality panel will review the curbs under stage 3 of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on November 11 in the wake of improvement in Delhi’s air pollution levels, an official said.

Delhi’s air quality came down from ‘very poor’ to the ‘poor’ category on Wednesday, owing to favourable wind speed at night, considerable drop in emissions from farm fires and sporadic rains in adjoining states.

Under stage 3 of GRAP, all construction and demolition work, except for essential projects, is banned in Delhi-NCR. Brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers are also not allowed to operate.

“The CAQM is keeping a close watch on the changing air quality scenario of Delhi-NCR and accordingly, its Sub-Committee on Graded Response Action Plan will convene a meeting tomorrow to comprehensively review the situation for appropriate decision,” the Commission for Air Quality Management said in a statement on Thursday.

The 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital stood at 295 on Thursday. It was 260 on Wednesday, 372 on Tuesday, 354 on Monday, 339 on Sunday and 381 on Saturday.

This AQI recorded on Wednesday was the lowest since October 20, when it was 232. For November, it was the best AQI since November 29, 2020, when it was 231, according to Central Pollution Control Board data.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

India Meteorological Department‘s Environment Monitoring and Research Centre head V K Soni said favourable wind speed — 10 to 18 kmph — is predicted to bring a considerable improvement in the air quality from November 11.

Earlier this week, the Delhi government decided to reopen primary classes from November 9 and revoke the order asking 50 per cent of its staff to work from home in view of the improvement in the city’s air quality over the last few days.

However, BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers stayed off Delhi roads under stage 3 of GRAP.

On Sunday, the CAQM had directed authorities to lift the ban on plying of non-BS VI diesel light motor vehicles in the region and the entry of trucks into the capital imposed under stage 4 of the GRAP.

(With inputs from PTI)

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