As pollution eases, primary schools in Delhi to reopen from Nov 9: Environment Minister Gopal Rai


Primary schools in Delhi, which were shut on account of rising pollution levels, will reopen from November 9 and restrictions imposed on outdoor activities in schools will also be revoked, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said Monday.

When the air quality hit the ‘severe’ category, the Delhi government had announced on November 4 that for primary classes schools would be shut from November 5 to 8. For secondary and senior secondary classes, outdoor activities and physical education sessions were to be suspended.

With the AQI improving from ‘severe’ to ‘very poor’, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) had Sunday lifted curbs under Phase-4 or the ‘severe+’ category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). It was under this phase that GRAP had recommended the closure of educational institutions and work-from-home for offices.

“There has been an improvement in air quality in the past two days. Yesterday and today, the AQI has fallen to around 350. There is a reduction in the stubble burning count as well, and the wind direction has changed. Considering this, the CAQM has revoked GRAP Phase-4. Restrictions under Phase-3 will continue,” Rai said at a press conference.

“If there are changes in the AQI, then further decisions will be taken depending on the directions of the CAQM,” Rai added.

The restrictions that will continue under Phase-3 include a ban on “private construction and demolition activity,” Rai said. “As per Phase-3 restrictions, BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers will not be allowed to ply,” Rai said adding more buses will also be deployed as part of measures under this phase and the ban on truck entry into Delhi has also been lifted.

Mechanical road sweeping and water sprinkling by the fire service will continue. The minister said the announcement for work from home for 50 per cent of Delhi Government employees has also been revoked.





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