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Tags Current Affairs

GRAP action plan

Date: 11 October 2020 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

As part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), some stricter measures to fight air pollution will come into force in Delhi and its neighbouring National Capital Region (NCR) towns.

 

Background

Levels of pollution are expected to rise as winter approaches and as they do, more measures will come into force, depending on the air quality.

 

Details

  • Starting October 15, diesel generator sets can no longer be used in Delhi and the NCR towns of Noida, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Faridabad, and Gurgaon. The only exception is DG sets used for emergency and essential services.

  • Pollution control authorities will begin night patrolling to check for dust and industrial emissions, as well as the burning of waste. Mechanised sweeping and frequent sprinkling of water on roads (to make the dust settle) have been directed.

  • These measures are part of GRAP, which was formulated in 2016 and notified in 2017. Experts have credited the actions under the plan for the improvement in Delhi’s air over the past few years.

  • Approved by the Supreme Court in 2016, the plan was formulated after several meetings that the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) held with state government representatives and experts.

  • The result was a plan that institutionalised measures to be taken when air quality deteriorates.

  • The plan is incremental in nature and therefore, when the air quality moves from ‘Poor’ to ‘Very Poor’, the measures listed under both sections have to be followed.

  • The plan requires action and coordination among 13 different agencies in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan (NCR areas).

  • At the head of the table is the EPCA, mandated by the Supreme Court. GRAP was notified in 2017 by the Centre and draws its authority from this notification.

  • The biggest success of GRAP has been in fixing accountability and deadlines. For each action to be taken under a particular air quality category, executing agencies are clearly marked.

  • One criticism of the EPCA as well as GRAP has been the focus on Delhi. While other states have managed to delay several measures, citing lack of resources, Delhi has always been the first to have stringent measures enforced.

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