Revised graded pollution plan to be in place from October 1

The revised Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to deal with air pollution this winter will come into force with effect from October 1, according to the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).
This year, the GRAP will be implemented differently – it will be pre-emptive and will be invoked three days in advance of the air quality reaching a certain level based on forecasts. In previous years, GRAP was invoked when particulate matter concentrations reached a certain threshold.
The commission issued directions Friday asking officials to ensure strict implementation of the revised GRAP. In the revised plan, there are four stages of adverse air quality — ‘poor’ (AQI from 201 to 300), ‘very poor’ (AQI from 301 to 400), ‘severe’ (AQI from 401 to 450) and ‘severe +’ (AQI more than 450). Actions under the ‘very poor’, ‘severe’ and ‘severe +’ categories are to be invoked at least three days in advance of the AQI reaching that particular stage. This will be based on forecasts provided to the CAQM by the India Meteorological Department and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.
As per the directions issued by the CAQM on Friday, the chief secretaries of the National Capital Region (NCR)states and the Delhi government have been asked to frequently review the implementation of GRAP.
Under the revised plan, the ban on construction activities (except for those involving the railways, projects of national security, hospitals, metro rail services, and linear public projects like highways, roads) will set in under the ‘severe’ category. In the previous system, the construction ban was imposed only in the ‘severe +’ category. Construction activities on linear public projects like highways, roads, flyovers, pipelines and power transmission, will be banned under the ‘severe+’ category.