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Entry of trucks, construction banned in Delhi as air quality worsens

With rising air pollution levels leaving the national capital shook, the government has decided to take immediate remedial actions to curb the menace. The newly formulated Commission for Air Quality Management set up emergency measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on Tuesday. According to the directives, entry of trucks into Delhi and construction activities within the city are banned until the air quality levels improve. These strict measures come in the wake of the ‘severe +’ levels being exhibited by PM2.5 and PM10, which are critical pollutants, for more than 48 hours in Delhi.

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According to an official from the environment ministry, “GRAP is enforced in Delhi-NCR with immediate effect. A detailed direction in this regard will be issued on Wednesday.”

Previously, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal introduced the ‘Odd-Even’ scheme in the capital for private vehicles to battle the rising pollution levels, which is one of the emergency measures under GRAP. As per officials, this time however the scheme will be implemented only after discussions with the Delhi government and the transport authorities, as the capital is still raging under the effects of COVID-19.

The official further added, “Corporations and traffic police of NCR towns are being informed of the Commission’s decision.” For context, the GRAP measures have been formulated since the average PM10 levels have been continuing over 500 microgram per cubic meter, while PM2.5 levels have been continuing over 300 microgram per cubic meter for more than 48 hours in the capital. These heightened levels have reached the point of emergency, hence the Commission has decided to enforce GRAP via the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

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