NGT’s action plan will ‘dilute’ graded response plan: EPCA

The Supreme Court-mandated EPCA on Wednesday said that the latest measures announced by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to clean the city’s toxic air may “dilute” the Centre-notified Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and create “confusion” among the implementing agencies.

Sunita Narain, a member of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, said that the GRAP, which it is authorised to enforce, was much more “stringent”.

According to the categorisation of the NGT’s action plan, measures such as ban on construction activities, diesel generator sets, thermal power plants and closure of schools will kick in when levels of PM2.5 and PM10 cross 600 and 1,000 microgram per cubic metre (ug/m3) respectively.

Emergency levels

The green tribunal defines the aforementioned category as ‘emergency’.

In contrast, under the GRAP, which was notified by the Centre on January 12 this year, a pollution emergency is declared when PM2.5 crosses 300 ug/m3 and PM10 breaches 500 ug/m3, the level when construction ban and other steps are to be implemented.

“The GRAP is notified, it is law. No one can afford to not implement it. This was unnecessary and will only lead to more confusion,” Ms. Narain said.

Anumita Roychowdhury of the Centre for Science and Environment also observed that the NGT plan was unclear: “If you are changing the basic architecture, it is going to be confusing for the implementing agencies”.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 7:58:48 AM |

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