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Delhi: Primary schools to resume from Wednesday; ban on BS3 petrol, BS4 diesel cars stays

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Monday decided to reopen primary classes from November 9 and revoke the order asking 50 per cent of its staff to work from home in view of improvement in the city’s air quality.

However, plying of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi will remain banned under stage 3 of the Graded Response Action plan, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai told a press conference.

The minister said there has been a rapid improvement in the air pollution situation in Delhi and farm fires have also reduced.

“Therefore, it has been decided to lift the curbs imposed under stage four of the Graded Response Action Plan in compliance with the direction from the Commission for Air Quality Management,” he said.

“Primary schools will reopen from November 9 and the order asking 50 per cent of the government staff to work from home is being revoked,” the minister said.

As the air pollution in Delhi-NCR ameliorated over the last two days, the Centre’s air quality panel Sunday directed authorities to lift the ban on plying of non-BS VI diesel light motor vehicles in the region and the entry of trucks into the capital imposed under the final stage of the Graded Response Action Plan.

It had also banned construction work in public projects such as highways, flyovers, power transmission, and pipelines in Delhi-NCR.

The CAQM order recommending the restrictions was issued on Thursday.

High pollution levels had prompted the Delhi government to announce additional measures on Friday, including the closure of primary schools from Saturday and work from home for 50 per cent of its staff.

The 24-hour average air quality index of Delhi improved from 447 on Friday to 381 on Saturday and further to 339 on Sunday, primarily due to favourable wind speed and a drop in the contribution of stubble burning.

The commission had on Sunday said there is a likelihood of sustaining the improvement in air quality and that the forecast by the India Meteorological Department and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology also does not indicate any steep degradation further.



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