New Delhi: In the view of ‘Severe+’ conditions that have been prevailing in the national capital region for more than a day, the Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi & NCR (GRAP) has restricted trucks from entering Delhi from 11 pm on January 4 to 11 pm on January 5th.
The above regulation has come after the ‘Severe+’ conditions continued for 31 hours consecutively exceeding 300 ug/m3 for PM25. It has also been observed that while PM10 levels are marginally exceeding 500 ug/m3, PM25 levels are much higher reaching up to 350 ug/m3. According to the Task Force, this is why combustion sources require priority attention.
In addition, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that presently, the wind speed is around 10 kilometre per hour (kmph) and is likely to increase resulting in better dispersion. There is also a forecast of rain in the evening of January 5th and January 6th.
“The Task Force further opined that the measures already in force must continue with intensified action by implementing agencies particularly with regard to traffic congestion, open burning of waste, industrial emissions and others,” read the letter granted by Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) Chairman Bhure Lal issuing urgent directions regarding GRAP.
In case, the situation does not improve by tomorrow morning, entry of truck traffic into Delhi (except essential commodities) may be stopped. Furthermore, people must minimise the use of personal vehicles and avoid prolonged exposure because of unhealthy air.
GRAP concluded its regulations by stating that the enforcement of this direction requires coordination of all NCR states. Also, the opening of the Eastern and Western Expressway would make the rule easier for implementation as the trucks that not destined for Delhi will now have convenient alternatives to take.