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GS-III :
  • 09 October, 2019

  • 3 Min Read

How plan for clean air works ?

GS-III: How plan for clean air works ?

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Starting October 15, some stricter measures to fight air pollution will come into force in Delhi’s neighbourhood, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). As pollution rises, and it is expected to as winter approaches, more measures will come into play depending on the air quality.

Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP):

  • In 2014, when a study by the WHO found that Delhi was the most polluted city in the world, panic spread in the Centre and the state government.
  • Approved by the Supreme Court in 2016, the plan was formulated after several meetings that the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) held with state government and experts.
  • The result was a plan that institutionalized measures to be taken when air quality deteriorates.
  • GRAP works only as an emergency measure.
  • Three major policy decisions that can be credited to EPCA and GRAP are the closure of the thermal power plant at Badarpur, bringing BS-VI fuel to Delhi before the deadline set initially, and the ban on Pet coke as a fuel in Delhi NCR.

How it works?

  • As such, the plan does not include action by various state governments to be taken throughout the year to tackle industrial, vehicular and combustion emissions.
  • When the air quality shifts from poor to very poor, the measures listed under both sections have to be followed since the plan is incremental in nature.
  • If air quality reaches the severe+ stage, GRAP talks about shutting down schools and implementing the odd-even road-space rationing scheme.

Severe+ or Emergency

  • (PM 2.5 over 300 µg/cubic metre or PM10 over 500 µg/cu. m. for 48+ hours)
  • Stop entry of trucks into Delhi .
  • Stop construction work.
  • Introduce odd/even scheme for private vehicles and minimise exemptions.
  • Task Force to decide any additional steps including shutting of schools.

Very Poor

  • Stop use of diesel generator sets
  • Enhance parking fee by 3-4 times
  • Increase bus and Metro services.

Moderate to poor:

  • Heavy fines for garbage burning.
  • Close/enforce pollution control regulations in brick kilns and industries.
  • Mechanised sweeping on roads with heavy traffic and water sprinkling.

Has GRAP helped?

  • The biggest success of GRAP has been in fixing accountability and deadlines.
  • For each action to be taken under a particular air quality category, executing agencies are clearly marked.

What measures have been taken in other states?

  • One criticism of the EPCA as well as GRAP has been the focus on Delhi.
  • While other states have managed to delay several measures, citing lack of resources, Delhi has always been the first one to have stringent measures enforced.
  • In a recent meeting that discussed the ban on diesel generator sets, the point about Delhi doing all the heavy lifting was also raised.

Source: Indian Express


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