Diesel generator sets, except for emergency and essential services, will have to shut, parking fee may be increased, and state government will be asked to press in more buses from the CNG or electric buses fleet, with the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) implementing stage II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) with immediate effect in Delhi-NCR on Wednesday.
According to the order issued by the CAQM, the air quality forecast indicates that the AQI may deteriorate to be in the ‘very poor’ category with effect from October 22, “which is likely to be the result of calm wind conditions and stable atmospheric conditions to prevail from October 22 over Delhi. Also, the Diwali festival on October 24 is expected to worsen the situation further”.
Stage-II of the GRAP is invoked three days ahead of when the AQI is likely to reach the ‘very poor’ category (301 to 400).
Measures under stage-II also include banning the use of coal or firewood for use in tandoors in eateries. Mechanical sweeping of roads is also to be done daily, besides water sprinkling on roads, by local bodies and road-owning agencies.
The AQI in Delhi on Wednesday was 228, in the ‘poor’ category. According to a forecast issued by the Air Quality Early Warning System on Wednesday, the AQI is likely to reach the ‘very poor’ category on October 22 and is likely to remain in the same category for six days subsequently.
Under the revised GRAP which is in force this year, measures under stage-II, III and IV are to be invoked three days ahead of the AQI reaching the forecasted level.
Measures under stage-I of GRAP were invoked on October 5, when the AQI reached the ‘poor’ category. These measures are to be intensified, according to the CAQM order.