Delhi schools, colleges to reopen next week as air quality improves to ‘poor’

Only trucks and tempos that run on CNG - barring those engaged in essential services - will be allowed to enter the Capital from Saturday.

On Wednesday, the air quality index in Delhi stood at 280.

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai announced on Wednesday that only trucks and tempos that run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) – barring those engaged in essential services – will be allowed to enter the Capital from Saturday.

The Capital has been battling toxic air since Diwali earlier this month. On Monday, the state had prohibited the entry of heavy goods vehicles carrying non-essential items into the city to combat air pollution. “The ban on the entry of trucks operating on other fuels will remain till December 3,” Rai said after a review meeting with senior officials, according to media reports.

Offline classes in schools, colleges, and other educational institutions, which were suspended on November 13 in the wake of high pollution levels, will resume from Monday, the minister said, adding that all government offices will open from Monday too. “Special buses will be deployed for government staff,” Rai said.

Also read: SC asks Centre, states to continue with measures to curb pollution

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On Monday, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi lifted the ban on construction and demolition activities as the air quality showed improvement.

On Wednesday, the air quality index in Delhi stood at 280, according to the SAFAR forecasting system. In a slight improvement, the city’s AQI on Tuesday moved from the ‘very poor’ to ‘poor’ category with the 24-hour average index recorded at 290.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said the air quality crisis in Delhi calls for a scientific study, and “ad-hoc measures” won’t help. “This is the national capital. Look at the signal we are sending to the world. You have to predict the situation based on statistics… and take action in anticipation so that the situation does not go severe,” the court highlighted.

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