The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority on Friday rolled out its Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi and the surrounding National Capital Region, The Times of India reported. As per the plan, pollution control measures to tackle “very poor” and “moderate to poor” air quality levels will be enforced in Delhi, whereas steps to improve the “moderate to poor” air quality levels will be implemented in the NCR.
Under the initiative, different categories of pollution will invite different responses, including stopping the use of diesel generator sets and hikes in parking fee for cars. EPCA Chairperson Bhure Lal said officials from the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh had issued directions as per the provisions of the plan, The Hindu reported.
However, EPCA member Sunita Narain said it would be difficult to enforce measures such as parking fee hikes without an action plan. “We first want an effective enforcement [plan] against illegal parking, otherwise there is no point in raising the parking fee,” she told The Indian Express. “It will only lead to an increase in illegal parking.”
The pollution control authority has also directed the Delhi government to procure smoke detectors and implement an “intensive” two-week long drive against environmental degradation caused by engines. Representatives from Haryana were also asked to strengthen Pollution Under Control centres in the state.
The Supreme Court had approved the body’s strategy on December 2, 2016. The measures charted out were put together by the Central Pollution Control Board. Greenpeace India had called the action plan a “logical and necessary step”, adding that the poor air quality in Delhi-NCR required urgent handling, “particularly with reference to episodic rises in pollution levels”.