Due to the rapidly deteriorating air quality in the nation’s capital, all public and private primary schools will be closed for a two-day period.

The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, announced on Thursday that, due to the worsening air quality in the national capital, all government and private primary schools will be shut.

In a statement posted on ‘X’, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal conveyed, “In light of the escalating pollution levels, all government and private primary schools in Delhi will be closed for the next two days.”

Simultaneously, in response to the escalating pollution levels in the National Capital Region, the Gurugram District Magistrate has issued an order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1973, to combat air pollution in Gurugram.

The Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram announced on ‘X’, “In light of the deteriorating air quality, District Magistrate Shri Nishant Kumar Yadav has issued an order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1973, to address air pollution in Gurugram.”

The Deputy Commissioner also outlined key directives, which include a strict ban on burning waste materials like garbage, leaves, plastic, and rubber in all areas of Gurugram, with violators facing legal penalties. Authorities have been instructed to ensure strict enforcement and report any violations, with the goal of safeguarding the environment and public health. This order is applicable throughout Gurugram District.

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

This decision was reached during a sub-committee meeting under the GRAP held in the national capital earlier today. The sub-committee reviewed the air quality situation in the region, taking into account meteorological forecasts and the air quality index provided by IMD and IITM. According to an official statement by the CAQM, the Delhi government has imposed a construction ban in the entire National Capital Region (NCR).

However, certain exceptions have been made for projects related to railway services, metro services, airports, inter-state bus terminals, defense-related activities, healthcare activities, and more.

The government will also increase road sweeping with mechanized equipment and ensure daily watering of roads with dust suppressants, as indicated in the official statement.

Activities including excavation, filling, boring, drilling, demolition, loading and unloading of construction materials, and several others have been prohibited, in line with the official release.

The sub-committee has also urged the state government in the NCR and GNCTD to consider moving classes for children up to Class V to an online mode and discontinuing physical classes in schools.

The CAQM classifies the GRAP for the NCR into four stages, based on different levels of adverse air quality in Delhi: 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 GRAP serves as an emergency response mechanism for poor air quality, but in this instance, it was activated before a significant decline in Delhi’s air quality.

Furthermore, the air quality in the national capital has persisted in the ‘very poor’ category for five consecutive days, with an Air Quality Index of 346, according to SAFAR-India.

SAFAR-India has reported that Delhi’s AQI has remained in the ‘very poor’ category since Sunday, starting at 309. Since then, air quality in Delhi has continued to deteriorate, with AQI readings of 322 on Monday, 327 on Tuesday, and 336 on Wednesday, according to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India.

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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *