With GRAP-4 gone, Delhi can now breathe easier, but Environment Minister Gopal Rai advises being alert because GRAP-3 is still in effect.

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Gopal Rai

According to Gopal Rai, at a news conference, even if the quality of the air has been continuously improving, people still need to be alert in order to sustain this development.

Nov. 19, New Delhi, India: Environment Minister Gopal Rai urged the public to exercise caution and adhere to the regulations as stages 1, 2, and 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) remain in effect to combat air pollution in the nation’s capital, one day after restrictions under the GRAP – 4 were lifted in Delhi due to an improvement in the quality of the air.

Environment Minister Gopal Rai advises being alert because GRAP-3 is still in effect:

Gopal Rai said during a news conference that even while the quality of the air has been steadily improving, people still need to be conscious of it in order to keep it that way.

“Over the past two days, there has been a steady improvement in the pollution levels. As of right now, the AQI is at 290. I would like to ask everyone in Delhi and throughout North India to exercise caution. Even if pollution levels have decreased, caution is still necessary. The AQI was at 215 prior to Diwali, but after Diwali, it rose due to the negligence that followed,” he stated.

The restrictions imposed under GRAP 4 were lifted on Saturday by the CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management) due to the improvement in Delhi’s air quality. This allowed trucks and buses to enter the city, with the exception of BS-3 and BS-4 petrol and diesel vehicles, and lifted the prohibition on ongoing construction activities.

During the press conference, Gopal Rai emphasized that Delhi still needs to adopt GRAP 1, GRAP 2, and GRAP 3 in its entirety. The removal of these restrictions will also be taken into consideration after pollution levels have further improved, he continued.

When it comes to the vehicle-related limitations, Gopal Rai stated, “The trucks entry ban has been lifted, but the BS3 gasoline and BS4 diesel vehicle bans remain in effect.” Thus, only trucks and other vehicles that are larger than BS 4 have had the prohibition lifted.”

In the press conference, he also mentioned that the linear projects that were put on hold under GRAP 4 have been given clearance to start up again. These projects include Raj Marg, roads, flyovers, foot-over bridges, and other similar projects.

Enumerating the locations that are suitable for construction operations, Gopal Rai discussed cleanliness, hospitals, linear projects, railways, metro, stations, airports, international bus terminals, national security processes, and projects of national importance.

According to him, certain actions are still forbidden, such as digging and boring, building structures, destruction, and moving or loading building supplies at project locations.

He continued his list of forbidden activities by adding driving on unmetalled highways, operating benching plants, cutting and working with tiles and other flooring materials, and mining activities.

According to Rai, we must be careful not to mix up the GRAP 4 and GRAP 3 restrictions, since the former have been lifted while the latter are still in effect.

Rai announced earlier on Thursday that the Environment Special Secretary will serve as the chief of a six-person special task group responsible for overseeing and properly implementing GRAP regulations

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