The Supreme Court-appointed body, the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority, on Tuesday banned diesel generators in Delhi as air quality entered the “Red Zone”, ANI reported. Metro services and hospitals have been exempted from this ban.
The Badarpur power plant was shut on Tuesday and hundreds of brick kilns, except those that have implemented the technology which produces less black carbon emission, were also ordered to stop production.
EPCA chief Bhure Lal said that starting Tuesday, it will take measures listed under the “severe” and “very poor” categories of the Graded Response Action Plan till March. These categories are rolled out when levels of PM2.15 are between 121-250 micrograms per cubic metre and above 250 micrograms per cubic metre.
The panel further said if the air quality worsens, the parking fee maybe increased by four times the current amount, PTI reported. It may even enforce the “odd-even” plan for the vehicles and shut schools. Under the “odd-even” car rationing policy, private vehicles on the roads are allowed based on the last digits of their license plates. Power plants in neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan will also be monitored during this period.
However, EPCA member Sunita Narain said that while the Graded Response Action Plan proposes parking fee to be hiked, it cannot be implemented as the Delhi government has not finalised its parking policy. “Delhi has a long way to go before it can lay claim to having reasonably clean and breathable air,” said Narain, who is also the director general of the Centre for Science and Environment.
On October 9, the Supreme Court reinstated a ban on the sale of firecrackers during Diwali celebrations in Delhi and NCR, saying it wants to assess the difference in air quality in the highly polluted region.