Delhi: Primary schools to reopen on Wednesday as AQI improves
The government of Delhi on Monday decided to reopen primary schools across the national capital from Wednesday (November 9). It has also revoked the 50% work-from-home order issued for the government employees after a key meeting chaired by Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai. The government's decision came as Delhi saw a slight improvement in its air quality on Monday.
Why does this story matter?
- The relaxations come after an improvement in Delhi's air quality. On Monday morning, it saw an air quality index (AQI) of 326 in the "very poor" category after it remained "severe" for three days.
- On Sunday, the Centre's Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) revoked GRAP Stage 4 curbs implemented on Thursday, calling for measures like banning the entry of trucks and non-BS6 vehicles.
What did environment minister say?
After the meeting on Monday, Rai said the restrictions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) Stage 4 are being lifted in Delhi. All primary schools will be reopened on Wednesday, he said. Moreover, the 50% work-from-home mandate for government employees has also been repealed, and there will also be no restrictions on the entry of trucks and small goods carriers, Rai added.
Ban on non-essential contruction works to stay
Construction and demolition of highways, flyovers, overbridges, pipelines, and other important structures can be restarted in Delhi, Rai said. However, he stated restrictions under GRAP Stages 1-3 would remain in place, implying the ban on non-essential private construction activities will continue in Delhi. He added industries not running on clean fuels that don't have piped natural gas (PNG) infrastructure and supply can now operate.
NASA captures incidents of stubble burning around Delhi
Every winter, #DelhiPollution spikes drastically, partly due to the stubble burning activities in neighbouring states.— The Weather Channel India (@weatherindia) November 24, 2021
Now, @NASA has captured satellite images depicting stubble plumes gushing towards #Delhi.
📸: Lauren Dauphin/NASA Earth Obsv. pic.twitter.com/VL5UUnaZVO
Delhi-NCR AQIs recorded on Monday
The AQI in Delhi remained in the "very poor" category on Monday morning, improving from the "severe" category that had been recorded for three consecutive days. Despite the slight improvement, the AQI was 352 later at 9:00 a.m. At the same time, the AQI was at 351 in Anand Vihar, 364 in Faridabad, 339 in Gurugram, and 370 in Noida.
AQI of 0-50 is considered the best
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) considers an AQI between 0 and 50 to be "good" and 51 to 100 to be "satisfactory." Similarly, an AQI of 101 to 200 is considered "moderate," 201 to 300 is "poor," and 301 to 400 is "very poor." Furthermore, an AQI between 401 and 500 is classified as "severe" when it becomes difficult to breathe.