Delhi, the bustling metropolis at the heart of India, is currently ensnared in a web of pollution, grappling with deteriorating air quality that poses a severe threat to its residents. In response to this environmental crisis, the government has activated GRAP 3 – the Graded Response Action Plan’s third phase.
Here is the intricacies of GRAP 3, shedding light on its significance and how it seeks to address the escalating pollution levels in Delhi.
Understanding GRAP 3: A Bold Move Amid Rising Pollution
The unrelenting rise in pollution levels has prompted the government to implement GRAP 3, a decisive measure to counteract the looming environmental menace. GRAP, known as the Graded Response Action Plan, serves as a comprehensive strategy initiated by the Centre to manage air pollution, especially during the winter season when Delhi traditionally witnesses a spike in pollution.
Pollution in Delhi: A Looming Crisis
Delhi’s recent Air Quality Index (AQI) hit a staggering 402, firmly placing it in the ‘severe’ category. Faced with this alarming scenario, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) invoked GRAP 3, marking the commencement of Phase III of this pollution control plan. The implementation of GRAP 3 signifies a crucial step towards mitigating the adverse effects of escalating pollution.
GRAP Phases and the Severity Levels
GRAP operates in four distinct phases – ‘Poor,’ ‘Very Poor,’ ‘Severe,’ and ‘Severe Plus.’ Each phase corresponds to a specific range of AQI values, providing a graded response to the severity of pollution. GRAP 3, activated under the ‘Severe’ category (AQI 401–450), necessitates a comprehensive halt to non-essential construction activities, with specific exceptions made for critical government projects that involve mining and stone breaking operations.
Decoding the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)
Introduced in 2016 and subsequently approved by the Supreme Court in 2017, GRAP represents a set of emergency measures designed to counteract worsening air quality in the Delhi-NCR region. This action plan formalizes a series of steps to be taken as the air quality declines, providing a structured approach to pollution management.
Impactful Actions under GRAP Stage III
With Delhi’s air quality classified as ‘Severe,’ GRAP 3 swings into full effect. Non-essential construction and demolition activities, excluding those related to critical government projects, face stringent restrictions across the National Capital Region (NCR). Additionally, activities such as stone crushing, brick kilns, and mining are curtailed under this phase of GRAP.
Community Engagement in Pollution Mitigation
Recognizing the collective responsibility in mitigating pollution, the public is urged to actively participate in the implementation of GRAP 3. Carpooling, increased reliance on public transportation, working from home, and reducing the use of coal or wood for heating are among the measures encouraged. Such proactive steps aim to alleviate the burden on the environment and collectively address the challenges posed by severe pollution.
Conclusion: Uniting Against Pollution
As GRAP 3 takes center stage in Delhi’s fight against pollution, it underscores the imperative of collective action to combat environmental challenges. The incremental nature of GRAP reflects a dynamic approach that intensifies measures as air quality deteriorates. Understanding and actively participating in the stipulated measures are crucial for Delhiites to contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. The battle against pollution demands concerted efforts, and GRAP 3 marks a significant stride in the right direction. By adhering to the outlined strategies, Delhi can pave the way for a sustainable and pollution-free future.