Severe policy lapse | Business Standard Editorials

The recurring menace of winter pollution in Delhi and its adjoining areas in the National Capital Region (NCR) continues to exacerbate, defying all bids to contain it. The situation has been particularly bad this year with the air quality index (AQI) hovering mostly between the “very poor” and “severe” to “severe plus” categories ever since the advent of winter, making it hard for people to breathe. Revamping the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the NCR, and the launching of a special 15-point anti-pollution campaign by the Delhi government has been of little avail. The level of the most hazardous particulate matter, PM2.5 in the air, has been reckoned, on average, at around 105 micro grams per cubic metre during October this year, against 74.88 micro grams in the same month last year. What is worse, this has happened despite an early enforcement of the GRAP and the claims of its better enforcement by the Delhi administration.