Air quality deteriorates in Delhi, but no ban on construction activity 

Even though the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital deteriorated, the sub-committee for invoking actions under GRAP of CAQM decided that there is no need for invoking the stage III of GRAP at this moment, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change informed on Sunday. It is pertinent to note that Stage III of GRAP means a ban on all construction and demolition activities except those of national importance. As per the release, Delhi’s overall air quality suddenly, rapidly and unanticipatedly deteriorated since late last night with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) clocking 407 today as per the 4 PM AQI Bulletin provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which is an increase of 113 points from the AQI recorded yesterday (294). Considering this sudden rise in the average AQl of Delhi, the Sub-Committee for invoking actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) met today to take stock of the situation. During the meeting it was noted that this sudden and steep dip in air quality parameters in the last 24 hours in the region which led to the overall AQI of Delhi moving into the “Severe” category today is an aberration as the forecasts predict immediate improvement with the overall AQI to move into ‘Very Poor’ category from tonight itself, the Ministry stated. As per the dynamic model and weather/ meteorological forecast provided by IMD/ IITM, there is a strong indication that the overall air quality of Delhi will start improving, with a downward trend of average AQI already visible, and is likely to fluctuate largely between ‘Poor’ to ‘Very Poor’ categories in the coming days. “Considering the above position and after comprehensively reviewing the air quality scenario and other relevant aspects the Sub-Committee decided that ongoing actions implemented under Stage-II of GRAP along with Stage-I shall continue and it is not considered necessary to invoke Stage-III of GRAP at this moment,” the Ministry stated.

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