As Delhi’s Air Quality Improves, Centre Lifts Anti-Pollution Restrictions

Air quality in Delhi in the winter months is a big cause for concern

New Delhi:

The central body that recommends actions to fight pollution in the national capital has removed some restrictions after air quality improved marginally.

Entry of trucks into Delhi is now allowed, and the ban on non-BS 6 diesel vehicles has been removed. BS 6, short for Bharat Stage 6, mandates cleaner automotive fuels and engines.

The order to close down all industries in Delhi has been lifted.

They were banned under level four – the highest – of the Graded Response Action Plan, or GRAP, which orders what action to be taken if air quality worsens.

Only GRAP-4 has been removed after air quality improved marginally to 339, which is about 111 air quality index, or AQI, points below the threshold for invoking GRAP-4.

The easing of the restrictions, however, doesn’t mean everything is fine. The air quality is still in the “very poor” category, meaning it can cause respiratory issues after prolonged exposure.

The ban on non-essential construction activities and closing brick kilns, however, still stands as they fall under GRAP-3. Primary schools are also shut till November 8, and no school can conduct outdoor activities till then.

Construction and demolition activities linked to highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission and pipelines are allowed.

“The GRAP Stage-4 is a disruptive stage of restrictions and impacts a large number of stakeholders and public at large. There are no stricter measures, than as laid in GRAP Stage-4, that could be taken to improve upon the air quality scenario,” the Commission for Air Quality Management said in a statement today.

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