The Delhi government has written to the EPCA requesting them to “advise” cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) to implement measures under the Graded Response Action Plan, including the odd-even scheme. Implementation of the GRAP measures within Delhi would not be of much effect unless similar measures were adopted by the NCR, Delhi Transport minister Kailash Gahlot wrote to EPCA chariman Bhure Lal yesterday.
The air pollution levels in the NCR, that assumed alarming proportions last week, also affected millions of residents in cities including Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad, besides the national capital.
“Unless the GRAP is implemented across all the NCR towns, pollution levels in Delhi as well as the neighbouring towns can not be brought down,” Gahlot said, asking the EPCA to “advise” the implementation of the GRAP measures by them. The Supreme Court-mandated EPCA withdrew the GRAP measures, including the ban on construction, entry of trucks, enhanced parking fees from across Delhi-NCR as air quality remained out of the ’emergency’ category for the second straight day.
The measures, part of the GRAP, were enforced on November 8 after pollution levels spiked, hitting the ’emergency’ category, accompanied by thick smog. Gahlot also charged that the EPCA “kept quiet” over obligations of the NCR while the Delhi government was criticised for “flip-flop” over the odd-even scheme. The Delhi government was eager to implement the odd-even scheme from November 13, but its inability to do so in view of the National Green Tribunal order not exempting women and two-wheeler’s, was “unnecessarily projected” as a “flip-flop” on the part of the government, the minister said.
“The EPCA has not helped the matter by keeping quiet with regard to the obligations of the NCR towns in this regard,” he added.