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Delhi: All govt, private primary schools to remain shut for 2 days amid nosediving air quality

In view of the worsening air quality in the national capital, all government and private primary schools will remain closed for two days, said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday.

Delhi schools to remain shut for 2 days amid nosediving air quality

Taking to ‘X’, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote, “In light of the rising pollution levels, all govt and private primary schools in Delhi will remain closed for the next 2 days”.

Meanwhile, amid the rising pollution levels in the National Capital Region, the Gurugram District Magistrate has also issued an order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1973 to combat air pollution in Gurugram.

Taking to ‘X’, the Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram wrote, ” In light of worsening air quality, District Magistrate Shri Nishant Kumar Yadav, has issued an order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1973 to combat air pollution in Gurugram”.

“Here are the key points: Burning waste materials, such as garbage, leaves, plastic, and rubber, is strictly prohibited in all areas of Gurugram. Violators will face penalties as per the law. Authorities are directed to ensure strict compliance and report any violations. Let’s protect our environment and health. This order is enforceable throughout Gurugram District”, added the DCP.

As the air quality in the national capital has continued to remain in the ‘very poor’ category since Sunday, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) invoked the third stage of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on Thursday.

The decision was taken in the meeting of the sub-committee under the GRAP held here in the national capital, earlier today.

The sub-committee reviewed the air quality scenario in the region as well as the forecasts for meteorological conditions and air quality index made available by IMD and IITM. According to an official release by the CAQM, the Delhi government has imposed a ban on construction activities in the entire National Capital Region (NCR).

However, exemptions have been made for the projects for the railway services, metro services, airports, inter-state bus terminals, defence-related activities, healthcare-related activities, etc, the release read further.

The government will also intensify the frequency of mechanised sweeping of roads and ensure daily water-sprinkling along with dust suppressants, added the official statement.

Activities including earthwork for excavation and filling including boring and drilling works will be banned.

As per the official release, a ban has been imposed on the following activities, which include: 1. Demolition works 2. Loading and unloading of construction materials anywhere within or outside the project sites 3. Transfer of raw materials either manually or through conveyor belts, including fly ash 4. Movement of vehicles on unpaved roads. 5. Operation of batching plant 6. Laying of sewer line, waterline, drainage work and electric cabling by open trench system 7. cutting and fixing of tiles, stones and other flooring materials 8. Waterproofing work 9. Painting, polishing and varnishing works etc and 10. Road construction/ repair works including paving of sidewalks/pathways and central verges etc.

Meanwhile, the sub-committee has also urged the state government in the NCR and GNCTD to contemplate discontinuing physical classes in schools for children up to Class V and conducting classes in an online mode.

According to the CAQM, the GRAP for the NCR has been classified under four different stages of adverse air quality in Delhi viz. Stage I ‘Poor’ (AQI 201-300). Stage II ‘Very poor’ (AQI 301-400), Stage III ‘Severe’ (AQI 401-450) and Stage IV ‘Severe ‘ (AQI>450).

The action plan was implemented as an emergency response mechanism to poor air quality levels. But this time, the government implemented GRAP even before the worsening of Delhi’s air quality.

Meanwhile, the air quality of the national capital continued to remain in the ‘very poor’ category on Thursday for the fifth day in a row with an Air Quality Index of 346, according to SAFAR-India.

As per the SAFAR-India, the city’s AQI has been in the ‘very poor’ category since Sunday (309).

Since then, the air quality has continued to go to rack and ruin in Delhi.

The AQI was recorded at 322 on Monday and 327 on Tuesday against 336 on Wednesday, as per the data provided by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has also called for a meeting on Friday at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the implementation of the GRAP Stage III. (ANI)

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