Delhi govt to enforce odd-even plan if air quality worsens; power plant shut

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New Delhi: The Badarpur power plant has been shut, diesel generators banned, hundreds of brick kilns ordered to stop production, and if the air quality worsens, Delhiites may have to shell out more as parking fee, possibly four times the current amount.

The Supreme Court-appointed EPCA, a body empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) under which these steps have been taken, made it clear that if needed it will not hesitate to enforce the ‘odd-even’ plan, order cars off roads, and shut schools.

Measures under the GRAP’s ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories came into effect on Tuesday, and they will remain in force till March 15, the EPCA announced following a review meeting chaired by its chief Bhure Lal, a former IAS officer.

EPCA (Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority) member Sunita Narain said while the GRAP proposes a hike in parking fee under its ‘very poor’ segment, it cannot be immediately implemented as the Delhi government’s parking policy has not yet been finalised.

But she indicated that the EPCA will enforce the measure if pollution levels show any rapid spike, even if a formal policy is not in place.Only those brick kilns, which have implemented the zigzag technology that helps reduce black carbon emission, have been allowed to function, Bhure Lal said.Essential services such as the Delhi Metro and hospitals in the city, which depend on diesel-generator sets, will also be exempted.

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