According to a senior Transport Department official on Friday, the Delhi government will decide on December 31 whether or not to impose a ban on the use of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in the nation’s capital.
This occurred shortly after the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) Subcommittee ordered Delhi-NCR authorities to immediately implement curbs under Stage III of the anti-pollution plan.
At a review meeting, the subcommittee noted that due to calm winds and stable atmospheric conditions, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is likely to move into the ‘severe’ category.
On Friday, the 24-hour average AQI for Delhi was 399. An AQI of 201 to 300 is regarded as ‘poor,’ 301 to 400 as ‘very poor,’ and 401 to 500 as ‘severe.’
‘We will review whether a ban (on plying of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi) needs to be imposed on Saturday,’ the Transport Department official said.
According to the severity of the situation, the capital and its surroundings implement GRAP, a set of anti-air pollution measures.
Four different stages are used to categorise the air quality in Delhi-NCR: Stage I, ‘Poor,’ (AQI 201-300); Stage II, ‘Very Poor,’ (AQI 301-400); Stage III, ‘Severe,’ (AQI 401-450); and Stage IV, ‘Severe Plus,’ (AQI>450).
Restrictive actions under Stage III must be invoked at least three days before the AQI is predicted to reach the ‘Severe’ category. These include a ban on non-essential building and demolition work as well as the closure of the area’s stone quarries and mining operations.
Plumbing, carpentry, interior design, and electrical work are examples of non-polluting activities that are allowed.
The next stage, ‘Severe Plus,’ entails actions like preventing trucks from entering Delhi, allowing 50% of employees in public, municipal, and private offices to work from home, closing educational institutions, and operating vehicles on an odd-even schedule, among other things.