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Central Government Eases Air Quality Restrictions In NCR Following Improved Conditions
- The Central government has swiftly lifted Stage III restrictions of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) across the entire National Capital Region (NCR) due to a notable enhancement in air quality.
- This decision allows for the relaxation of constraints on the operation of BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers in major areas like Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Gautam Budh Nagar.
On Tuesday, the Central government swiftly lifted Stage III restrictions outlined in the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) across the entire National Capital Region (NCR) due to a significant improvement in air quality. This decision opens the door for the relaxation of constraints on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers in key areas such as Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Gautam Budh Nagar. The Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM), a statutory body dedicated to combating pollution, made this decision in light of the overall positive trend in air quality.
The India Meteorological Department/Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology forecasts indicate that Delhi's average air quality is not expected to reach the "severe" category in the foreseeable future. The city's 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 4 pm daily improved from 395 on Monday to 312 on Tuesday.
Given the disruptive impact of Stage-III restrictions on numerous stakeholders, the GRAP Sub-Committee unanimously decided to revoke Stage-III in the entire NCR promptly. However, measures under Stages I to II will persist, ensuring continuous efforts to prevent the AQI levels from deteriorating to the 'Severe' category, according to the CAQM. The Commission also emphasized that construction sites and industrial units with closure orders must not resume operations without specific approval from the commission.
This development follows the November 18 decision by the panel to lift restrictions prescribed under Stage IV of the Central government's air pollution control plan in Delhi-NCR following an improvement in air quality.