GRAP, which comes into effect today, in Delhi and NCR, was first notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2017 for implementation through the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.
“Delhi Pollution Control Committee hereby bans the operation of electricity generator sets of all capacities, run on diesel, petrol or kerosene in Delhi with effect from October 15 till further orders, excluding those used for essential or emergency services,” an official order read.
Essential services including health care facilities, elevators, railway services, Delhi Metro, airports and interstate bus terminals and the data centre run by the National Informatics Centre, have been exempt.
The DPCC also directed power companies to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to the consumers.
There are about 3,000 high-rises in NCR, some of which have prepared for this winter after facing the issue of diesel genset ban in previous years.
“We will abide by the directions to stop the use of gensets to control the worsening air quality in NCR. Under the order, essential services are exempted so we will use the gensets to provide power to the lifts and other common areas. The number of gensets being used will come down and hence will serve the purpose of minimising the damage to the environment,” said Rahul Chaudhary, promoter, Sunworld Group.
Electricity department officials in Noida and Gurgaon said they are fully prepared to ensure there is no scheduled power cut but technical faults cannot be ruled out.
The EPCA had earlier directed that large construction projects, like highways and metro, will need to provide undertakings to state pollution control boards that they will assure adherence to the prescribed norms for dust management.
Authorities categorize industries according to pollution index scores worked out based on the emissions, effluents, hazardous wastes generated and consumption of resources.
The measures under GRAP, which was first implemented in Delhi-NCR in 2017, include increasing bus and metro services, hiking parking fees and stopping the use of diesel generator sets when the air quality turns poor.
When the situation turns “severe”, GRAP recommends closure of brick kilns, stone crushers and hot mix plants, sprinkling of water, frequent mechanised cleaning of roads and maximising power generation from natural gas.
The measures to be followed in the “emergency” situation include stopping the entry of trucks in Delhi, ban on construction activities and introduction of the odd-even car rationing scheme.
EPCA, however, had earlier told Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh that they “should try and avert the need to take other emergency measures for pollution control as the economy is already under stress post-lockdown. Therefore, our combined effort is to ensure that there is no further disruption”.
With Agency inputs