New Delhi, Nov 20 (The Street Press India) – Schools in Delhi, both government-aided and private, reopened on Monday after an early winter break. Some restrictions under Stage IV of GRAP were lifted due to an improvement in the city’s air quality.
The Directorate of Education (DoE) has issued an order stating that outdoor sports activities and morning assemblies will not take place in schools for the next week.
Due to increasing pollution and health concerns, schools in Delhi were closed, and a winter break was declared on November 8.
The DoE issued an order on Saturday, allowing the resumption of classes for all students from pre-school to class 12. This decision was made considering the improved Air Quality Index in Delhi and no immediate signs of a significant deterioration in the AQI.
From October 28 onwards, Delhi faced ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’ air quality for a continuous two weeks, characterized by a suffocating haze that enveloped the city.
Delhi residents enjoyed clear skies and abundant sunshine on November 11 and 12, thanks to a significant improvement in air quality just before Diwali, courtesy of favorable meteorological conditions.
Unfortunately, the relief was brief, as individuals disregarded the ban on firecrackers during Diwali on November 12, resulting in a spike in pollution levels.
On Saturday, the central authorities lifted strict restrictions, such as prohibiting construction work linked to linear projects and the entry of polluting trucks into Delhi. This decision was prompted by a decrease in air pollution levels, thanks to favorable wind speed and direction.
These actions represent the ultimate phase, Stage IV, of the central government’s air pollution control strategy known as the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
The air quality in Delhi and its surrounding areas worsened on Monday, following a slight improvement a day earlier. Forecasts indicate that significant relief is unlikely in the upcoming days.
The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 338 at 8 am on Monday, marking a decline from 301 at 4 pm and 290 at 7 am on Sunday.
The 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI), measured at 4 pm daily, was 319 on Saturday, 405 on Friday, and 419 on Thursday.