As air quality improves in Delhi, emergency measures are lifted

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: A NDMC worker sprays water on a tree to combat toxic smog and dust, and improve the air quality of the capital, at Parliment Street in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo

New Delhi: A NDMC worker sprays water on a tree to combat toxic smog and dust, and improve the air quality of the capital, at Parliment Street in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo

The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has decided to lift the emergency measures it had put in place last week to bring down the alarming level of pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region.

The air quality in the national capital remained out of ‘emergency’ category for the second straight day on Thursday, prompting the EPCA to withdraw the ban on construction activities, entry of trucks and bringing down the enhanced parking fees from across the Delhi-NCR region.

But, measures enforced under the GRAP’s ‘severe’ category including the closure of the Badarpur thermal power plant, ban on brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers will remain, said the EPCA.

Chairperson of the court-mandated body, Bhure Lal, wrote to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana this morning, directing them that the measures be lifted with “immediate effect” as the prevailing air quality does not warrant such tough action.

“We are watching the situation very carefully and we have been informed by the India Meteorological Department and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology that pollution may rise again because of increased moisture in the air in the coming days. “However, if the conditions continue to improve and air quality stabilises, we will review the measures under the ‘Severe’ category and inform you accordingly,” Bhure Lal wrote.

The measures were put in place on November 8 as part of the Graded Response Action Plan, when the pollution levels had spiked, hitting the emergency category, accompanied by thick smog.

(With inputs from PTI)