In a bid to curb air pollution in Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government on Friday announced the closure of primary schools as the national capital’s air quality index dropped to ‘severe’ category. This is the second consecutive day when Delhi has recorded an AQI falling under the ‘severe’ category, according to data released by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
Announcing the shutdown of primary schools till the air quality returns to normal, Kejriwal further announced that the outdoor activities for classes V to VIII will be limited. Delhi’s environment minister Gopal Rai declared that 50 per cent of state government employees will be required to work from home (WFH), advising private organisations to allow WFH for its employees.
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Announcing the launch of 500 private CNG buses, the Delhi government put a ban on BS VI diesel vehicles. Implementing Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) graded plan approach, the Delhi government further banned the entry of petrol and diesel-run commercial vehicles, including trucks and lorries, with the exception of essential goods carriers.
The Delhi government also put a curb on construction and demolition work in the area, barring essential projects concerning national security.
Kejriwal, addressing the press, said that his government is mulling over implementing the odd-even scheme amid the pollution crisis. Day after his minister Gopal Rai blamed the Centre for not incentivising the Punjab farmers to stop burning stubble, Kejriwal said that it was not the time for pointing fingers and indulging in political blame-game.
Admitting that the Punjab government is responsible for failure to curb stubble burning in the state, Kejriwal said that CM Bhagwant Mann did not have enough time to act upon it as the AAP government has been in power in Punjab only for six months.