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Does Govt’s Graded Response Action Plan Help Delhi Breathe Better? No, Suggests Data

The air high quality disaster of Delhi has change into an annual affair for the previous a number of years. Around the onset of the winter season, the federal government implements its Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for speedy aid from the dropping air high quality. However, official knowledge advised that Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) deteriorates even when the GRAP is in place.

Last yr, inside a month of implementing GRAP, the AQI elevated by practically 50 p.c, the info analysed by CNN-News18 reveals. In 2019, this soar was about 77 p.c and in 2018 the rise was about 70 p.c throughout the identical interval, knowledge collected from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reveals.

The greater the AQI worth, the better the extent of air air pollution and the larger the well being concern. An AQI between zero and 50 is taken into account ‘Good’, 51 and 100 ‘Satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘Moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘Poor’, 301 and 400 ‘Very Poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘Severe’.

In 2020, the GRAP was applied on October 15, when the town’s AQI was 312. Per week later, it dropped to 268 however jumped once more to 312 the following week. A month later, on November 15, which additionally occurred to be the following day of Diwali, the town’s AQI was 467.

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In 2019, when the GRAP was applied on October 15, the town’s AQI was 262, which dropped after per week to 249. By November 2, it had reached 407 and by November 15 it was at 463. That yr, Diwali was on October 27, as air pollution improve is attributed to the burning of firecrackers.

In 2018, the AQI jumped from 201 on October 15 to 342 on November 15. Diwali was celebrated on November 7 in 2018.

The AQI is normally greater round Diwali. The CPCB has carried ambient air high quality monitoring on chosen pre-Diwali days and on Diwali days for the previous few years. In 2020, the physique in contrast the air high quality on November 9 with November 14, Diwali day. Delhi reported 83 p.c improve in PM2.5 and 67 p.c improve in PM10 between the 2 dates, official knowledge reveals.


The Central Government notified GRAP in 2017 for Delhi and NCR. This includes measures together with a prohibition on entry of vans into Delhi; ban on development actions, the introduction of wierd and even schemes for personal autos, shutting of colleges, closure of brick kilns, sizzling combine vegetation, and stone crushers; ban on diesel generator units; rubbish burning in landfills, and plying of visibly polluting autos.

The plan is split into varied classes based mostly on the AQI level- extreme plus or emergency, extreme, very poor, reasonable to poor, and reasonable. The nature, scope, and rigor of measures to be taken is linked to ranges of air pollution.


While the air high quality remains to be not up to speed, through the years, the town’s air has proven enchancment. The ‘Good’, ‘Satisfactory’ and ‘Moderate’ days elevated to 182 in 2019 compared to 108 in 2016 whereas the variety of ‘Poor’, ‘Very Poor’ and ‘Severe’ decreased from 246 in 2016 to 183 in 2019, newest knowledge from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change reveals.

Though the AQI jumped in 2020 even when GRAP was enforced, the yr was higher when in comparison with 2019 or 2018. According to the Economic Survey of Delhi 2020-21, the common ranges of varied pollution, together with PM10, and PM2.5, was lowest in 2020 since 2014, though the parameters exceeded the prescribed requirements.

In India, PM2.5 ranges under 40 micrograms per cubic meter and PM10 ranges under 60 micrograms per cubic meter are thought-about secure. However, in Delhi, the annual common of PM2.5 was 101 μg/m3 final yr, dropping from 149 μg/m3 in 2014. Similarly, the annual metropolis common of PM10 decreased from 324 μg/m3 in 2014 to 187 μg/m3 in 2020.

Also Read: What is ‘Parali’?: A Look at Delhi Air Pollution’s Biggest Contributor


Delhi is a landlocked metropolis. From industries to autos, urbanisation has its results on the town’s air high quality. The nationwide capital’s atmosphere can be extremely influenced by completely different meteorological phenomena- in summer time, the air high quality is influenced by mud storms from Rajasthan and in winter it’s impacted by calm situations and inversion in addition to biomass burning within the NCR.

In 2018, a research was performed by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Pune, and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi. The Union Government-funded research revealed that industries contribute between 22 and 30 p.c in PM2.5 and PM10 within the nationwide capital. Transport contributes as much as 28 p.c in PM2.5 and PM10 whereas the mud has about 40 p.c position.

Also Read: Not Just ‘Bijli, Paani, Roti’ But Also ‘Saans’: High Time Air Pollution Makes Way Into Poll Discourse

SAFAR, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and the Ministry of Earth Sciences present an estimated contribution of exterior biomass burning to PM2.5 ranges in Delhi through the winter season. The common estimated contribution of stubble burning to PM2.5 ranges in Delhi was 13 p.c, with a most contribution of 42 p.c in 2020.

The common contribution of exterior biomass burning to PM2.5 in Delhi in 2018 and 2019 was 12 p.c and 10 p.c, respectively whereas the utmost contribution was 58 p.c and 44 p.c.

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