With a view to ensure that air pollution levels does not rise further during winter, the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for the National Capital Region (“EPCA”), has issued directions to the Chief Secretaries of the State Governments of National Capital Region, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan to ensure implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (“GRAP”), which was notified on 12th January, 2017.
Key measures which will gain effect from 15th October, 2020:
1. The use of diesel generator will be banned in Delhi and other vicinity towns of Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad and Gurgaon in Haryana;
Note: essential and emergency services are exempted from the above-mentioned ban.
2. Industries, particularly in the Red and Orange category, will provide an undertaking to the State Pollution Control Boards / Pollution Control Committees that they will use only authorised fuel and not operate without adequate pollution control measures;
3. Large construction projects, including highways and metros to provide undertaking to the State Pollution Control Boards / Pollution Control Committees that they will comply with the prescribed norms / guidelines for dust management.
EPCA has been advised by Task Force on GRAP that the NCR has slipped into the ‘Poor’ category as weather conditions are turning adverse. The winter period sees worsening air quality because there is less dispersion and lower temperatures trap pollutants close to the ground.
Furthermore, co-morbidity is a challenge and there is evidence that pollution will make COVID-19 more dangerous. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the levels do not rise further, with coming winter weather conditions in the days to come.