With the improvement in Delhi’s air quality, all government-aided and private schools in delhi resumed classes on Monday. The decision to re-open the schools was taken after the GRAP Stage-IV curbs were revoked due to the improvement in the national capital’s air quality index (AQI) from ‘hazardous’ to ‘very poor’ category and the forecast by Central agencies predicting further improvement in the near future. However, outdoor sports activities and morning assembly will remain suspended for the next week, according to a circular issued by the Directorate of Education.
Schools in delhi were shut down and a winter break was announced on november 8 amid rising pollution in the city and growing health concerns. On monday morning at 6:30 am, delhi AQI stood at 331, which also lies in the ‘very poor’ category according to the Central pollution Control Board. The Centre’s Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for Delhi-NCR categorizes actions to control pollution into four stages: Stage I -Poor (AQI 201-300), Stage II -Very Poor (AQI 301-400), Stage III -Severe (AQI 401-450) and Stage IV- Severe Plus (AQI above 450).
Delhi Environment minister Gopal Rai has appealed to the people to stay vigilant and continue to follow the rules as stages 1, 2, and 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), which are still in place to combat air pollution in the national capital. In a press conference on Sunday, Rai said that only restrictions on truck entries have been lifted at present, while BS-III and BS-IV diesel and petrol vehicles are still prohibited from entering the capital. Interstate buses with these specifications are also barred from entering Delhi. Rai also announced the lifting of the ban on certain construction activities, including the construction of flyovers, road development, foot over bridges (FOBs), high power tension lines, metro, airport, and other ongoing projects. However, restrictions on activities prone to dust pollution, such as piling, digging, drilling, and boring, will persist to maintain air quality improvements.