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Delhi’s air quality to fluctuate between ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’

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Air quality in Delhi-NCR is likely to fluctuate between “severe” and the higher end of the “very poor” category in the coming days with winds expected to be northwesterly for the next five days and possibly leading to high contribution of stubble-burning, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) sub-committee on graded action plan on Monday reviewed air quality as well as meteorological and air pollution forecast and directed the states to strictly implement Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) measures.

Under the GRAP, actions under “severe” category, in addition to steps listed under “very poor” and “poor” to “moderate” AQI categories, should be implemented with immediate effect in Delhi-NCR, including increased frequency of mechanised cleaning of road and sprinkling of water on roads, and identification of road stretches with high dust generation.A

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“Ensure that all brick kilns remain closed in Delhi-NCR as per the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), closure of all hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi-NCR, maximise the generation of power from existing natural gas-based plants to reduce the operation of coal-based power plants in the NCR, intensify public transport services, and introduce differential rates to encourage off-peak travel,” the order read.

Besides, states are supposed to disseminate information about air pollution levels and for creating awareness among citizens regarding steps to minimise air pollution and implementing agencies must closely monitor actions taken and submit daily report to concerned State Pollution Control Board (SPCC) and Pollution Control Committees (PCC) which will review and further submit reports to the ACommission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) and the CPCM.

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