City gearing up to implement GRAP to fight pollution

| | NEW DELHI
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City gearing up to implement GRAP to fight pollution

Wednesday, 21 September 2022 | Staff Reporter | NEW DELHI

With meteorological conditions set to turn unfavourable following the withdrawal of monsoon and burning of stubble by farmers in Punjab, Delhi is gearing up to implement the revamped Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) — a set of anti-air pollution measures followed according to the severity of the situation — from October 1.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference Environment Minister, Gopal Rai said the Delhi Government will spray the bio-decomposer free of cost on 5,000 acres of basmati and non-basmati paddy fields this year. Gopal Rai said that the bio-decomposer will also be sprayed on farmlands in Punjab on a trial basis.

The decision comes even as cases of stubble-burning were reported from Punjab. More than 50 cases of stubble burning were reported in the last one week.

“On September 20, at least 10 cases of stubble burning were reported, there were 18 cases on September 19, seven cases on September 18, one case on September 17 and 14 cases on September 14,” stated the Consortium for Research and Agro ecosystem Monitoring and Modelling from Space of the Indian Agriculture Research Institute.

According to directions of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), the plan will come into force 15 days before the usual date to prevent the build-up of pollutants after the change in wind direction to northwest and a drop in the wind speed following the monsoon withdrawal.

“We will be also making use of the real-time source apportionment system which will help understand the real-time effect of pollution sources like vehicles, road dust, construction dust, biomass burning, farm fires, and industrial emissions,” the official said.

The green war room will monitor violations and redress complaints and grievances in keeping with the practice being followed for the last two years.

A decision is yet to be taken on the re-implementation of the “Red Light On, Gaadi Off” campaign, the official said.

“State Governments can consider allowing 50 per cent staff to work from home in public, municipal and private offices, and additional emergency measures like closure of educational institutions and the plying of vehicles on odd-even basis etc,” the official said.

Meanwhile, with an aim to prevent the build-up of pollution due to stubble burning in the national Capital, the Delhi Government has decided to spray the Pusa bio-decomposer on 5,000 acres of basmati and non-basmati paddy fields. Delhi Environment Minister, Gopal Rai said that the bio-decomposer will also be sprayed on farmlands in Punjab on a trial basis.

The Pusa bio-decomposer developed by the IARI is a microbial solution that can turn paddy straw into manure in 15-20 days. The Government has constituted 21 teams to create awareness about the effectiveness of the bio-decomposer and register farmers who want to use the solution in their fields, he said.

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