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March 22, 2023 10:33 pm

As Delhi’s air quality improves, Centre’s panel likely to review curbs under GRAP’s stage 3

New Delhi, November 11

With air pollution levels in Delhi coming down to the ‘poor’ category from ‘very poor’, the Commission for Air Quality Management has said it will review the situation on Friday.

The Centre’s air quality panel may take a call on revoking curbs in place in Delhi-NCR under stage 3 (severe) of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), an official said on condition of anonymity.

The panel also issued an order on Thursday, asking authorities to immediately stop polishing, varnishing and painting work at construction sites as these activities create volatile organic compounds which further increase the toxicity of the air and cause harm to human health.

“These activities cannot be treated as non-polluting category of construction and demolition activities under clause 4 (iii) of Stage-III of GRAP and need to be stopped at projects sites, whenever GRAP Stage-III orders are invoked or in operation,” the order read.

All construction and demolition work, except for essential projects, is banned in Delhi-NCR under stage 3 of GRAP.

Brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers are also not allowed to operate.

“The CAQM is keeping a close watch on the changing air quality scenario of Delhi-NCR and accordingly, its Sub-Committee on Graded Response Action Plan will convene a meeting tomorrow to comprehensively review the situation for appropriate decision,” the air quality panel said in a statement.

The air quality in Delhi improved on Wednesday owing to favourable wind speed at night, sporadic rains in adjoining states and a considerable drop in emissions from stubble-burning.

The 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital stood at 295 on Thursday. It was 260 on Wednesday, 372 on Tuesday, 354 on Monday, 339 on Sunday and 381 on Saturday.

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