Delhi’s Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, expressed optimism about an impending improvement in air quality in the national capital and called for heightened awareness to combat air pollution. Rai noted the shift from the ‘Severe’ category and anticipates further enhancement in the coming days. While the weather department’s predictions indicate no likelihood of entering the ‘Severe’ category, Rai stressed the need for public vigilance and assured ongoing governmental monitoring.
Highlighting the efforts of the Punjab government to curb stubble burning by over 50% compared to the previous year, Rai shared updates on measures to address air pollution. He announced the formation of a 6-member special task force, led by the Environment Special Secretary, tasked with overseeing the proper implementation and monitoring of GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan) rules.
The task force comprises key representatives from various departments, including transport, traffic police, revenue, and municipal corporations, aimed at fostering effective coordination. Their responsibilities include daily liaison with concerned departments, addressing challenges, and providing implementation reports to the government.
In parallel, Delhi continued to experience ‘ very poor’ air quality on Tuesday morning, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 323, according to SAFAR-India. Specific locations like IIT Delhi, the Airport (Terminal 3), and Pusa recorded AQI values in the range of 321 to 337. CPCB data reported AQI readings at various locations, with Anand Vihar at 374, Jahangirpuri at 399, Lodhi Road at 315, and New Moti Bagh at 370.
The minister’s statements come after the CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management) recently revoked restrictions under GRAP 4, signalling improved air quality in Delhi. The lifting of bans on certain vehicles and construction activities aligns with the positive trajectory, emphasizing the collaborative efforts to combat air pollution in the region.