With the air quality in Delhi sliding to severe category, a ban has been imposed on all non-essential construction work and demolition work in the city.Even the entry of light commercial vehicles and diesel trucks have also been banned in the national capital.
The restrictions have been imposed as part of stage III of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) under the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM). In an order, the Delhi government said that the commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and adjoining areas, issued statutory direction for implementation of the revised schedule of the GRAP with immediate effect.
The decision was taken during the meeting of the Sub-Committee constituted for invoking actions under the GRAP in its meeting held on on Thursday which comprehensively reviewed the air quality scenario in the region as well as the forecasts for meteorological conditions and air quality index made available by IMD and IITM.
It said that the Sub-committee observed that the AQI of Delhi since 10 a.m. of November 2 is on sharp increase and at 4 p.m. the average AQI for Delhi on date recorded as 392."Further, the average AQI for Delhi at 5 p.m. stood at 402 which is only expected to increase further owing to the highly unfavorable meteorological and climatic conditions," it said.
"Keeping in view the prevailing trend of air quality, in an effort to prevent further deterioration of the air quality, the sub-committee decided that all actions as envisaged under stage III of the GRAP -'Severe' Air Quality (Delhi AQI ranging between 401-450) be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned in the NCR, with immediate effect, in addition to the stage I and II actions alreadY in force," the order stated.
Under the GRAP III, the further the frequency of mechanised or vacuum-based sweeping of roads, ensuring daily water sprinkling along with dust suppressants, before peak traffic hours, on roads and right of ways including hotspots, heavy traffic corridors and ensure proper disposal of the collected dust in designated sites or landfills, further intensify public transport services.
It said that activities like earthwork for excavation and filling, including boring and drilling work, all structural construction work, including fabrication and welding operations and demolition work, loading and unloading of construction materials anywhere within or outside the project sites, the transfer of raw materials either manually or through conveyor belts, including fly ash, the movement of vehicles on unpaved roads, the laying of sewer line, waterline, drainage work and electric cabling by an open trench system, the cutting and fixing of tiles, stones and other flooring materials, grinding activities, piling work, water proofing work, painting, polishing and varnishing work etc. to be strictly banned following the GRAP 3 implementation.
It also said there was a need to impose strict restrictions on plying of BS III petrol and BS IV diesel LMVs (4 wheelers) in Delhi and in the districts of Gurugram, Faridabad., Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.
It also said that state governments in NCR and Delhi may take a decision on discontinuing physical classes in schools for children up to Class V and conducting classes in an online mode. With hazy weather conditions and slow winds movement, the air quality in the national capital for the sixth consecutive day continued to remain in the 'very poor' category as the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 346 on Thursday evening, according to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
However, the AQI at Anand Vihar reached in severe category with PM 2.5 at 437 and PM 10 at 449 while NO2 was recorded at 71 and CO at 102, as per CPCB. At Bawana, the PM 2.5 reached at 452 while PM 10 was at 436, both under severe category, while the CP was recorded at 85 and NO2 was at 23.