Non-essential construction work banned in Delhi-NCR amid spike in air pollution

Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 399 on Friday

Getty Images
Getty Images


In view of a spike in air pollution, the Centre's air quality panel on Friday directed the implementation of curbs under stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in Delhi-NCR, including a ban on non-essential construction and demolition work.

Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 399 on Friday.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.

The sub-committee on GRAP, at a review meeting, noted that the AQI is likely to slip into the severe category due to calm winds and stable atmospheric conditions.

It directed authorities in Delhi-NCR to invoke curbs under stage III of the anti-pollution plan with immediate effect.

GRAP is a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in the capital and its vicinity according to the severity of the situation.

It classifies the air quality in Delhi-NCR under four different stages: Stage I - 'Poor' (AQI 201-300); Stage II - 'Very Poor' (AQI 301-400); Stage III - 'Severe' (AQI 401-450); and Stage IV - 'Severe Plus' (AQI >450).

If the AQI is projected to reach the severe category, restrictive actions under Stage III are to be invoked at least three days in advance. These include a ban on non-essential construction and demolition, closure of stone crushers and mining activities in the region.

Non-polluting activities such as plumbing, carpentry, interior decoration and electrical works are allowed.

The next stage -- "Severe Plus" category or Stage IV -- includes steps like a ban on the entry of trucks into Delhi, allowing 50 per cent of staff to work from home in public, municipal and private offices,closure of educational institutions and the plying of vehicles on an odd-even basis, etc.

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