New Delhi: The Delhi government, which has allowed owners of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel vehicles, will decide whether the restrictions imposed in the national capital should continue in view of rising air pollution. The restrictions were in force till November 13 and have not been extended yet. The AQI (Air Quality Index) in the city has remained stable for the last four days. “There is a meeting on Monday to discuss what needs to be done,” a Delhi government official said on Sunday.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has predicted that the air quality in Delhi will be ‘poor’ over the next two days and there will be moderate fog between Monday and Thursday. At present, the guidelines of GRAP-III are being implemented in Delhi. “If the situation worsens, we may soon run into GRAP IV restrictions. The air quality index (AQI) of Delhi stood at 320 on Sunday with marginal improvement so far, placing the NCR in the ‘very poor’ category, the official said.
On Sunday, the AQI of Noida and Gurugram was recorded at 341 and 324 respectively.
During a review meeting last week, the Delhi government’s transport department had decided that restrictions under Phase 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) should remain in place for the next few days rather than a knee-jerk reaction.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai had said on Monday last week, “There will be a ban on BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi under the third phase of the Graded Response Action Plan.”
In an order on Monday, the Transport Department had said that owners of vehicles found violating the rule would be prosecuted under the Motor Vehicles Act, which could attract a fine of Rs 20,000.
Vehicles imposed for emergency services and government and election related work are not covered under the ban.
The transport department in its order had said, “As per the instructions given under Phase III of the amended GRAP, there shall be a ban on driving BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel light motor vehicles (four wheelers) under the jurisdiction of the GRAP. National Capital Territory of Delhi. The above instructions will remain in force till November 13 or the downward revision in the GRAP phase, whichever is earlier. If the CAQM orders restrictions on GRAP-III and above, the restrictions will continue beyond November 13.”
Delhi’s air quality may worsen in the coming days, will the AAP government impose more restrictions?