The Ministry of Environment has notified a Graded Response Action Plan to fight air pollution in Delhi-National Capital Region area, reported The Indian Express. With the plan in place, measures such as odd-even rules and restrictions on construction work will be automatically implemented when level of PM2.5 breaches 300 micrograms per cubic metre and PM10 levels stay above 500 micrograms per cubic metre for two days in a row, The Hindu reported on Tuesday. PM2.5 are the micro particles of dust that cause lung and respiratory diseases.
The Supreme Court gave its approval for the plan on December 2. The measures charted out in the document will be implemented by the Environment Pollution Control Authority. The action plan was put together by the Central Pollution Control Board.The Centre notified it on Friday.
Diesel generators will be banned in the city during ‘very poor’ air quality and parking fee may be hiked by three to four times. The administration will also shut down brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers. The action plan suggests increasing the frequency of mechanised cleaning and sprinkling of water on roads to control pollution. The action plan will help streamline the measures that are being taken to tackle the situation at the moment.
Sunita Narain, an Environment Pollution Control Authority member, said pollution levels would be monitored by task forces on an hourly basis. The teams will send detailed reports to the Supreme Court-appointed panel. “Our effort will be to not let pollution reach emergency levels,” she told Hindustan Times.
Greenpeace India said the action plan was a “logical and necessary step”. “High level of air pollution in Delhi and National Capital Region has been a matter of serious concern and requires urgent measures to address the issue, particularly with reference to episodic rises in pollution levels,” the NGO said in a statement.