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Why in News?

  • Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi launched.

Highlights:

  • The System is designed to predict extreme air pollution events
  • Give alerts to take necessary steps as per Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Government of India.
  • A new website developed for archiving all the observational and prediction products was also launched

Air pollution system:

  • The air pollution system has been developed jointly by the scientists at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India Meteorological Department and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF). Real time observations of air quality over Delhi region and details about natural aerosols like dust (from dust storms) and particulate matter using different satellite data sets.
  • Predictions of air pollutants from two different air quality prediction systems based on state-of-the-art atmospheric chemistry transport models
  • Warning Messages and Alerts and Bulletins.

Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP):

  • Graded Response Action Plan denes the measures to taken based on-air quality on the basis of PM 2.5 and PM 10 in the atmosphere.
  • Based on the air quality the grades have been classified as Emergency, Severe, Very Poor and Moderate poor. It will be enforced by Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).
  • Under this plan emergency measures will be automatically enforced in NCR if level of PM2.5 breaches 300 micrograms per cubic metre (μgm/m3) and PM10 levels stay above 500 (μgm/m3) for two consecutive days.
  • The plan recommends measures like odd-even car rationing scheme and ban on construction activities to combat air pollution. During ‘very poor’ air quality, it recommends banning diesel generators and parking fee increased by three to four times.
  • It also lists a number of other measures such as closing brick kilns, stone crushers, hot mix plants and intensifying public transport services and increasing the frequency of mechanised cleaning and sprinkling of water on roads. For enforcement of the action plan, the Union Government has assigned the task of implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan to the EPCA (Environment Pollution Control Authority) in pursuance of sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986).
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