Why in news?
- Starting October 15, 2019 stricter measures to fight air pollution came into force in Delhi’s neighborhood, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The new measures adopted are aimed at stopping the use of diesel generator sets beyond Delhi to the NCR.
What is GRAP?
- The action plan which was formulated in 2016 and notified in 2017 has been in effect for two years in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
- The plan was formulated after several meetings were held by Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) with state government representatives and experts.
- These are institutionalized measures to be taken when air quality deteriorates, hence works only as an emergency measure.
- When the air quality shifts from poor to very poor, the measures listed have to be followed since the plan is incremental in nature.
- If air quality reaches the severe+ stage, GRAP talks about shutting down schools and implementing the odd-even road-space rationing scheme.
- The plan requires action and coordination among 13 different agencies in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan (NCR areas).
- At the head of the table is the EPCA, mandated by the Supreme Court.
Has GRAP helped?
- The biggest success of GRAP has been in fixing accountability and deadlines. For each action to be taken under a particular air quality category, executing agencies are clearly marked.
- Three major policy decisions that can be credited to EPCA and GRAP are the closure of the thermal power plant at Badarpur, bringing BS-VI fuel to Delhi before the deadline set initially, and the ban on Pet coke as a fuel in Delhi NCR.
- However the next challenge is to extend the measures to other states effectively.