Delhi and its air pollution is getting worse and the air is unbreathable. To tackle the situation Supreme Court has appointed the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) and asked the authorities to enforce a graded response action for Delhi under the ‘very poor’ category and for NCR under the ‘moderate poor’ category. An EPCA member and head of Centre for Science and Environment, Sunita Narain said that measures should be taken under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) as the air quality of Delhi and the neighbouring states is very poor. Delhi and Mumbai are the two top air polluted cities in India. The death toll of premature deaths and respiratory diseases have increased significantly from the past 20 years.
In its first meeting on GRAP, EPCA members abstained from implementing any measures that included banning of diesel generators and hiking the parking free. These came under the measures listed under the “very poor” category. Measures were taken to substitute the brick kilns with other low-cost methods that would reduce the air pollution. This is planned to be made effective by next winter. In Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana where the brick kilns are majorly used without modern low-polluting methods will be seen to first in implementing this measure. The categories under the GRAP are classified according to the composition of PM10 and PM2.5 particulate matters in the air.
The EPCA has been given the responsibility to see to this matter and enforce the measure with the help of government offices that include state and central pollution control boards. The parking fee fine will also be hiked to an extent. Fire crackers will be banned and fly ash will be watered every alternate days. Moderate category measures include banning of garbage burning and low-pollution ,methods in brick kilns and in other plants and industries. Under very poor category the measures included are hiking parking fee fine, improving bus and metro services, banning diesel generators, stopping the usage of coal or firewood in eateries and warning people about going out. The odd-even scheme will be carried out in emergency situations.