Days after the Delhi government banned the entry of BS4 diesel vehicles inside the city limits, a committe has revoked the decision. The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) made the decision to revoke the curbs and said that it will continue to closely monitor the air quality situation.
CAQM will take further decsion based on the forecasts made by IMD and IITM. The government banned the entry of BS4 diesel cars and trucks among other activities like construction and industrial operation. The decision came after an emergency meeting caused by the average AQI of 458, which falls in the ‘Severe Plus’ category. BS6 compliant diesel vehicles were not affected by this ban.
As the present AQI level of Delhi is around 339 which is about 111 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 does not indicate any steep degradation further,” An order by CAQM read.
Delhi’s air pollution saw a minor dip to the lower end of the “very poor” category on Sunday. The drop in the AQI came after favourable wind conditions sweeped the city. Experts also claim that the drop has come due to the reduction in the stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab.
10 year old diesel cars still banned
The rule of the National Green Tribunal states that the use of 10-year old diesel-powered and 15-year old petrol-powered cars is not allowed in New Delhi. To ensure that this rule is strictly followed, all the registering authorities and RTO offices in New Delhi can issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the transfer of such older vehicles to other states, where this rule is not in effect as of now. This ban is still applicable.
The move was taken to curb the rising pollution levels in the national capital region, with the harmful gases emitted by vehicles being considered as one of the primary reasons for it.
Delhi’s decision based on GRAP stages
The Graded Response Action Plan or GRAP is a four stage plan put into effect by the CQAM. The decision to implement a stage of GRAP is based on the AQI of Delhi-NCR. The Stage 1 is Poor AQI (201-300). Stage II – ‘Very Poor’ (AQI 301-400). Stage III – ‘Severe’ (AQI 401 – 450) and Stage IV ‘Severe Plus’ (AQI > 450).