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Delhi to decide on reopening primary schools, revoking work-from-home in Monday meeting


As the air quality of Delhi slightly improved on Sunday and the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) lifted Stage IV for Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), the Environment Minister of Delhi Gopal Rai announced that he will chair a high-level meeting on Monday to discuss the directions by Centre’s air quality panel.

Officials of the Delhi government informed that the reopening of primary schools and revocation of the order for the government employees to Work from Home can be discussed in the meeting.

The Stage IV restrictions under GRAP have imposed three days ago and included steps like a ban on non-BS VI diesel-run light motor vehicles in Delhi-NCR and entry of trucks into the capital. The restrictions were imposed as the air quality index of the region inched closer to the 500 mark.

Keeping in mind the worsening air quality, the Delhi government on Friday decided on the steps like the closure of primary schools and ordering 50% of the government officials to Work from Home. The government also advised the private sector to allow Work from Home, in order to reduce vehicular emissions.

On Sunday, there was a slight improvement in the air quality of Delhi as the favorable winds helped and the incidents of stubble burning in neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana also dropped. The air quality is still at the lower end of ‘Very Poor’ quality.

The 24-hour average air quality index stood at 339 at 4 pm, dropping from 381 a day ago. “The forecast by IMD/ IITM also does not indicate any steep degradation further,” the order of CAQM said.

“The sub-committee, accordingly, hereby decides to revoke the order, issued vide dated November 3, 2022, for actions under Stage-IV of GRAP with immediate effect,” it said.

Data from the Indian Agricultural Research Organisation (IARI) indicate a sharp drop in the incidents of farm fires in Punjab to 599 from 2,187 a day ago.

With inputs from PTI.


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