Gopal Rai Blames UP and Haryana for Delhi’s Pollution Surge; GRAP 4 Measures to Persist

Gopal Rai Blames UP and Haryana for Delhi’s Pollution Surge; GRAP 4 Measures to Persist

Fireworks Illuminate Delhi Night Despite AAP’s Crackdown on Diwali Celebrations


13 November 2023 New Delhi

On Monday, Delhi’s Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, declared the continuation of preventive measures under GRAP Stage 4 due to a concerning surge in post-Diwali pollution levels in the national capital. Speaking at a press conference following a review of the current air pollution crisis in Delhi, Rai pointed fingers at the BJP governments in UP and Haryana for the declining air quality. He affirmed, “Anti-pollution measures under GRAP IV regulations will remain enforced in Delhi until the next order of CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management).” This includes the continued ban on BS-III petrol vehicles and BS-IV diesel vehicles, along with restrictions on truck entry, allowing only those carrying essential goods, connected to essential services, or CNG and electric trucks.

Rai also hinted at the potential reconsideration of implementing the odd-even rule if the air quality reaches a “severe” level, emphasizing the government’s commitment to addressing the escalating pollution crisis. Regarding Diwali firecrackers, Rai highlighted the ban on their production, storage, and sale in Delhi, attributing their presence to being brought in from UP and Haryana. He criticized the monitoring capabilities of the police in these regions, alleging that specific individuals facilitated the entry of firecrackers.

These statements followed a pollution review meeting between Rai and the Environment Department officers at the Delhi Secretariat, prompted by the ‘severe’ or ‘severe plus’ Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded in several places in Delhi-NCR in recent days. Post-Diwali celebrations intensified concerns, prompting discussions on the overall air quality situation and the status of enforcement measures.

The morning after Diwali revealed a thick layer of smog enveloping Delhi and its adjoining National Capital Region (NCR). Despite the AAP government’s ban on firecrackers and the ‘Diya Jalao, Patakhe nahi’ campaign, visuals from various parts of Delhi displayed fireworks lighting up the night sky on Sunday, exacerbating the deteriorating air quality.