Delhi’s average Air Quality Index (AQI) clocked 319 as per the daily AQI Bulletin provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
In view of significant improvement in the average air quality of Delhi-NCR, the Sub-Committee for operationalization of actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) met on Saturday to review the current air quality scenario in the region as well as the forecasts for meteorological conditions and air quality index made available by IMD/ IITM and also take an appropriate call on the stringent actions under Stage-IV of GRAP already in place in the entire National Capital Region (NCR) since November 5, 2023.
While comprehensively reviewing the overall air quality parameters of Delhi-NCR, the Sub-Committee observed that on Friday (i.e. 17.11.2023), Delhi’s average AQI clocked 405, which started declining and showing improvement since the late evening of 17.11.2023. Further, the air quality forecasts by IMD/ IITM also do not indicate any steep degradation in the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR in the coming days.
Therefore, keeping in view the prevailing trend of air quality and forecasts for meteorological conditions and air quality index made available by IMD/ IITM and also the disruptive nature of restrictive actions under Stage-IV of GRAP impacting a large number of stakeholders and public at large, the Sub-Committee for operationalization of actions under GRAP unanimously decides to roll back Stage-IV of revised GRAP in the entire NCR with immediate effect. Actions under Stages-I to Stage-III of the GRAP shall however remain invoked and be implemented, monitored and reviewed by all agencies concerned in the entire NCR to ensure that the AQI levels do not slip further to the ‘Severe’/ ‘Severe +’ category.
The Sub-Committee in its earlier meetings had invoked actions under Stage-I, Stage-II, Stage-III and Stage-IV of GRAP on October 6, 2023, October 21, 2023, November 2, 2023 and November 5, 2023 respectively. The Sub-Committee in Saturday’s meeting reviewed the air quality scenario in the region as well as the IMD/IITM forecasts for meteorological conditions and air quality index of Delhi and observed as under:
The GRAP is an emergency response action plan invoked with a view to arrest further deterioration of adverse air quality scenario in NCR.
Restrictions under GRAP Stage-IV are disruptive and impact a large number of stakeholders and public at large.
In wake of Delhi’s AQI falling ‘Severe+’ Category (AQI >450), the GRAP Stage-IV actions were invoked on 05.11.2023 based on AQI.
As the present AQI level of Delhi is around 322 (Very Poor) recorded at 2:00 PM which is about 128 AQI points below the threshold for invoking the GRAP Stage-IV actions (Delhi AQI > 450) and preventive/ mitigative/ restrictive actions under all Stages up to Stage-IV are underway, there is a likelihood of sustaining the improvement in AQI. The forecast by IMD/ IITM also do not indicate any steep degradation further.
Various agencies responsible for implementing measures under GRAP and Pollution Control Boards (PCBs) of NCR and DPCC have also been advised to ensure strict implementation and intensification of actions under Stage-I, Stage-II and Stage-III of the revised GRAP in the entire NCR. Further, the Commission appeals to the citizens of NCR to cooperate in implementing GRAP and follow the steps mentioned in the Citizen Charter under GRAP.
The sub-Committee shall be keeping a close watch on the air quality scenario and may take appropriate decisions depending on the air quality, as recorded from time to time, and the forecasts made by IMD/IITM to this effect. The revised schedule of GRAP is available on the Commission’s website and can be accessed via caqm.nic.in.