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HomeNewsDelhi pollution: Gopal Rai calls meeting today on reopening primary schools,revoking work-from-home

Delhi pollution: Gopal Rai calls meeting today on reopening primary schools,revoking work-from-home


Delhi’s air pollution levels ameliorated marginally to the lower end of the “very poor” category on Sunday, following which the Centre’s air quality panel lifted the fresh curbs imposed three days ago.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will chair a high-level meeting today to discuss the new directions by the air quality panel and a decision on reopening primary schools and revocation of the order asking 50 per cent of government staff to work from home is also likely to be taken, according to Delhi government officials. The decision regarding revoking work-from-home order and reopening primary schools has to be taken by the Delhi government.

The 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) on Sunday stood at 339 at 4 pm, dropping from 381 a day ago. It was 447 on Friday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.

It had jumped to 450 on Thursday, just a notch short of the ‘severe plus’ category, prompting authorities to invoke the final stage of anti-pollution curbs, including a ban on non-BS VI diesel light motor vehicles.

The hazardous pollution levels prompted the Delhi government to announce on Friday that primary schools would remain shut from Saturday and 50 per cent of its staff will work from home, while private offices were advised to follow suit.

With a call on reopening of schools expected to be taken on Monday, parents also urged the government ti take steps to ensure that children do not face learning losses.

Aparajita Gautam, president of Delhi Parents’ Association asked how long will the children face this uncertainty.

“What will the parents do? I am ready to send my child to school if the air quality improves but instead of working to curb pollution now, the government should take year-long measures to reduce it. When the air quality has entered the severe category, we had demanded school closure,” she said to news agency PTI.

Tanya Aggarwal, a lawyer and a mother, also inquired whether the government will revoke school closure order.

“Hi @ArvindKejriwal – if @CAQM_Official has lifted stage IV, is @Dir_Education revoking school closure order? Or will schools remain closed while trucks & diesel cars return and comm’l activity resumes? Ever thought about fixing sources of #AirPollution instead of only reacting?” she tweeted.

“As the present AQI level of Delhi is around 339 which is about 111 AQI points below the threshold for invoking the GRAP Stage-IV actions (Delhi AQI > 450) and preventive/ mitigative/ restrictive actions under all stages up to Stage-IV are underway, there is a likelihood of sustaining the improvement in AQI.

*With inputs from agencies

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