Emergency’ measures lifted from Delhi as air quality improves
The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) on Thursday withdrew the ban on construction activities, entry of trucks, and enhanced parking fees from across Delhi and National Capital Region as air quality remained out of the ‘emergency’ category for the second straight day.
The measures, part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), were enforced on November 8 after pollution levels had spiked, hitting the emergency category, accompanied by thick smog.
EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal wrote to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana on Thursday, directing them that the measures be lifted with “immediate effect” as the prevailing air quality does not warrant such tough action.
However, measures enforced under the GRAP’s ‘severe’ category including the closure of the Badarpur thermal power plant, ban on brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers will remain, the EPCA said.
“We are watching the situation very carefully and we have been informed by the India Meteorological Department and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology that pollution may rise again because of increased moisture in the air in the coming days.
“However, if the conditions continue to improve and air quality stabilises, we will review the measures under the ’Severe’ category and inform you accordingly,” Mr. Bhure Lal wrote.