Delhi pollution: Ban on BS3 petrol, BS4 diesel cars lifted after AQI improves
Delhi has lifted the ban on BS3 petrol and BS4 diesel cars after air quality improved in the last couple of days. The ban on these passenger vehicles, besides other commercial vehicles, were implemented under the stage three of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to help curb vehicular pollution. Commuters using BS3 petrol and BS4 diesel cars can now ply in the national capital region including Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad without a worry.
The ban on BS3 petrol and BS4 diesel cars in Delhi continued after the state government held a meeting on November 24 in the wake of rising pollution in the city to chalk out future course of action. The Delhi Traffic Police was asked to strictly implement the restrictions and check polluting vehicles or vehicles without valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate during this period. Vehicle owners found violating the rule were fined ₹20,000. According to a recent data shared by the Delhi government, vehicles contribute to around 36 per cent of the national capital's overall pollution level.
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The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), which is responsible to create strategies to combat pollution in the Delhi-NCR region, met on Tuesday to take a call on the restrictions. It said, "Keeping in view the disruptive nature of restrictions under Stage-III of GRAP impacting a large number of stakeholders and public as well as considering the significant improvement in the average AQI of Delhi-NCR, the GRAP Sub-Committee unanimously decided to revoke Stage-III of GRAP in the entire NCR with immediate effect." Light rains in the last two days have also helped the air quality to improve compared to the severe levels in the past weeks. Earlier, CAQM had invoked stage four of GRAP when pollution level was at its highest this season.
The CAQM also said that the restrictions under the stage one and two of GRAP will continue. The body said these restrictions will remain in place to 'ensure that the AQI levels do not slip further to ‘Severe’ category'.
Earlier, the Delhi government had planned to introduce the Odd-Even rule after Diwali when pollution spiked in the city. However, it postponed the plans after Supreme Court termed the move as mere optics without much effect on pollution levels.