The CPCB action plan stresses upon the need to reduce response time of the Task Force so that people’s exposure to toxic pollutants is reduced
Based on the Supreme Court’s order on November 10 to frame and submit graded response action plan for various categories of National Air Quality, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) submitted its recommendations on December 2).
The court had sought suggestions from Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment, on how to refine and improve the draft proposal that the CPCB had submitted on November 25. Both the CPCB and Narain carried out further consultation to finalise the proposal.
Besides suggesting setting up of control rooms in State Pollution Control Boards and municipal bodies of NCT Delhi, the report stressed upon the need to reduce the response time of the Task Force so that people’s exposure to toxic pollutants is reduced.
While “Severe” is the worst category of AQI, with PM2.5 at 250 microgram per cubic meter (μg/m3) and above and PM10 401 μg/m3 and above, the “Health emergency” is a new addition to the list of categories. The threshold decided for this category is 300 μg/m3 for PM2.5 and 500 μg/m3 for PM10.
According to this “graded-responsibility action plan", measures proposed for the AQI categories of “Severe” and “Very Poor” should be implemented all through the winter (October 15-February 15)
During emergency situations, the CPCB-headed Task Force will have to suggest additional special measures to quickly bring down the air pollution levels and communicate those measures to concerned Chief Secretary heading the State level committee, to ensure implementation.
The Central Pollution Control Board has recommended to the Supreme Court that following actions should be taken for moderate, poor, very poor, severe and emergency categories of air quality:
Precautionary measures recommended
While the CPCB-led Task Force will inform people about the dangers of exposure to high levels of pollution, people, on their part, are expected to take precautionary measures:
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