NEW-DELHI: In a concerning development, air pollution in the capital city of Delhi has surged to the 'bad' category, raising alarms and necessitating immediate intervention. The Central Government's Air Standards Committee has swiftly responded by urging authorities to enforce a ban on coal usage within hotels and restaurants. Furthermore, they have called for punitive actions against polluting industries and thermal power plants. This crucial step comes ahead of the impending winter season, which historically witnesses a spike in pollution levels across Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
Under the ambit of the Central Government's Phased Response Action Plan (GRAP) designed to combat air pollution, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body responsible for GRAP implementation, has been proactive. In the last 24 hours, a sudden and significant drop in air quality standards was noted in the region, causing the pollution level in Delhi to reach an AQI (Air Quality Index) of 212, classifying it as 'poor'.
In an official statement, the commission emphasized the necessity of immediate action to prevent further degradation of air quality in the NCR region. Accordingly, they called for the implementation of the first phase of GRAP, urging stringent measures to mitigate pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.
GRAP encompasses a tiered approach, classifying air quality into four stages based on the AQI. The first stage is initiated when the AQI ranges from 201 to 300, labeled as 'poor'. Subsequently, the second stage is triggered at 301-400 (very bad), the third stage at 401-450 (severe), and the fourth stage for levels exceeding 450 (more than severe). The authorities are now focused on immediate and effective action to tackle the ongoing air quality crisis and safeguard public health in the region.