The GARP (Graded Action Response Plan) has an advisory for each category of air pollution — emergency, severe, very poor, poor, and moderate.
New Delhi: In the wake of “severe” air quality levels in Delhi, parking fee was hiked four times in the national capital, on Tuesday, among other temporary measures. The Supreme Court appointed EPCA directed the Delhi government to quadruple the parking fee and slash the Metro fares immediately as temporary measures.
Delhi woke up to a thick blanket of smog as pollution levels hit ‘severe’ category on Tuesday and the levels of ultrafine particles surpassed the figures recorded during Diwali.
In a review meeting, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) announced that all measures under GRAP’s severe category will be implemented across the region till further notice.
EPCA chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narain directed the municipal bodies to immediately increase the parking fees by four times and instructed the Delhi Metro to lower its fare during the off-peak hours for at least 10 days, introduce more coaches, and ensure frequent services.
The GARP (Graded Action Response Plan) has an advisory for each category of air pollution — emergency, severe, very poor, poor, and moderate. “This plan is an emergency plan that cannot become a substitute for long term and decisive action to cut air pollution,” said EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal.
According to GARP, measures like parking fee hike and intensifying public transport will automatically come into force if ‘severe’ air quality conditions persist for 48 hours.
However, CPCB member secretary A. Sudhakar said they are not expecting a dramatic change in the next two-three days and that the air quality will continue to remain in the “severe” category.
“Intensity of pollution peaked from Monday night as moisture-heavy winds from Uttar Pradesh and hot winds carrying emissions from stubble burning from Punjab and Haryana have dealt a double whammy. Shallow fog and a complete absence of wind are preventing the dissipation of pollutants at the ground level,” he said.