EPCA directs Delhi, other States to implement GRAP

A Supreme Court-appointed pollution monitoring body has directed Delhi and neighbouring States to implement air pollution control measures under “very poor” and “severe” category air quality of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) from October 15, including a ban on the use of diesel generators, except for emergency activities.

The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) on Thursday wrote to Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan on the issue.

“The use of diesel generator sets will be banned (other than essential/emergency services) in Delhi and in vicinity towns — Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida in U.P. and Faridabad and Gurugram in Haryana. In 2019, the States of U.P. and Haryana had informed EPCA that they will put in the required measures by winter 2020 so that electricity from the grid can be supplied without disruptions in these areas, which would then obviate the need for diesel generators,” the letter said.

Additional steps

The letter said that a CPCB-led task force and the EPCA will continue to review the situation. If the weather pollution turns adverse, then “additional steps”, including a ban on construction activity and enhanced parking fees among others will have to be implemented, as mentioned under a different category of the GRAP.

“However, in this winter with all the combined efforts of the Union and State governments, we should try and avert the need to use these additional emergency measures for pollution control. We recognise that the economy is already under stress post-lockdown and therefore, our combined effort is to ensure that there is no further disruption,” it said.

EPCA Chairman Bhure Lal said in the letter that there is “enough evidence” that pollution will make COVID-19 “more dangerous” and therefore, there must be zero-tolerance for air pollution during this period, as it will come at “huge human health cost”.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 8:24:33 AM |

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