Delhi's AQI ‘severe’ for first time in 2024; anti-pollution panel imposes GRAP 3 | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Delhi's air quality 'severe' for first time in 2024, anti-pollution panel reimposes restrictions under GRAP 3

Jan 14, 2024 11:37 AM IST

A blinding layer of fog shrouded the Indo-Gangetic plains in North India on Sunday, with visibility levels plunging to zero metres at several places.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Sunday reimposed restrictions under the stage-3 of anti-pollution measures GRAP, banning all non-essential construction work and plying of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR, the air quality in the national capital and NCR returned severe again.

All non-essential construction work and plying of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel vehicles has been banned in Delhi-NCR (PTI file)
All non-essential construction work and plying of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel vehicles has been banned in Delhi-NCR (PTI file)

“CAQM Sub-Committee for operationalization of GRAP called on an emergency meeting today morning in view of sudden deterioration of air quality of Delhi-NCR from last evening. The Sub-Committee decides to invoke 8 point action plan as per Stage-III of revised GRAP in the entire NCR with immediate effect,” the panel said.

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On Sunbday morning, Delhi continued to reel under severe cold conditions as the minimum temperature dropped to 3.5 degrees Celsius – this winter's lowest – and a thick layer of fog was seen in several parts of the city, weather officials said.

This was a marginal dip from Saturday's 3.6 degrees Celsius and Friday's 3.9 degrees Celsius – both of which were the season's lowest on the day. Delhi's minimum temperature recorded on Sunday was four notches below the season's average, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Flights trains delayed

More than 100 flights were delayed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport on Sunday morning, with nine flights being diverted to Jaipur. The Northern Railway said at least 22 trains were delayed by over one hour on Sunday morning.

Delhi’s air quality deteriorated to ‘severe’ for the first time this year due to low temperatures and low wind speed over the last 48 hours.

The average AQI at 9am on Sunday was 458 (severe) – a deterioration from Saturday’s reading of 399 (very poor).

CAQM measures, invoked for the third time this winter, effectively ban BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers from plying in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar. The measures also put an immediate ban on private construction in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

The IMD has urged commuters on highways to exercise extreme caution and use fog lights during their journeys.

The weather department has issued an orange alert for Sunday and Monday, forecasting dense to very dense fog with coldwave conditions. The maximum is likely to remain around 18 degrees both today and tomorrow, with the minimum likely to hover around four degrees on Monday as well..

(With inputs from agencies)

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