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(Sunil Kataria/TOI, BCCL, Delhi)

With air quality in the national capital likely to deteriorate to the ‘very poor’ category ahead of Diwali, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in Delhi-NCR has directed the authorities to enact Stage 2 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), which includes banning the use of diesel generators, coal and firewood in hotels, restaurants and open eateries.

In a meeting on Wednesday, the CAQM sub-committee “comprehensively reviewed the air quality scenario in the region and noted that the air quality parameters are likely to dip on October 22 in the region, making it move into the ‘very poor’ category.”

“…the sub-committee on Wednesday took the call to invoke all actions as envisaged under Stage 2 of the GRAP — ‘Very Poor’ Air Quality (Delhi AQI ranging between 301-400), three days in advance to the projected levels, i.e. today with immediate effect in the entire NCR in right earnest by all the agencies concerned. This is in addition to the restrictive actions mentioned in Stage 1 of GRAP,” the CQAM said in an order, adding that various agencies responsible for implementing measures under GRAP have been advised to ensure strict implementation of actions under Stage 2 of GRAP.

Under Stage 2 of GRAP, the use of diesel generators is also not allowed except for essential services related to national security, defence-related activities, projects of national importance, telecommunication, data services, medical, railway and metro rail services, airports, inter-state bus terminals, sewage treatment plants, and water pumping stations.

The CAQM has also suggested the use of water sprinklers and vacuum-based road sweepers. Further, dust-prone areas must be identified, and fog guns should be set up.

The CAQM has advised people to follow a few steps to combat air pollution. It said that people should use public transport and minimise the use of personal vehicles. The CAQM also said that dust-generating construction activities should be avoided and air filters should be replaced regularly.

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The above article has been published from a wire source with minimal modifications to the headline and text.

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