The ban on construction activities and the entry of trucks in the national Capital will continue till further orders in view of predictions of a decline in the city’s air quality, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Monday, reported PTI.
Rai said Delhi’s air quality index has remained between 250 and 325 between December 1 and December 12. However, he said that experts have predicted that the air quality was likely to deteriorate in the next three days, he said.
Delhi’s air pollution levels has worsened drastically since Diwali.
Construction activities had been banned in Delhi and the adjoining National Capital Region on November 25 in view of the air pollution following a Supreme Court order.
On December 10, the Supreme Court, which is hearing petitions seeking emergency steps to control the worsening air pollution, had allowed the Delhi government to resume construction work of hospitals.
On Monday, Rai said that the education department has sent a proposal to his ministry about reopening colleges and schools for students in Class 6 and above. The minister said that the education department has also suggested reopening schools for children of Class 5 and below from December 20.
The Delhi government had closed all schools on December 3 after reopening them just four days ago.
The education department’s proposal will be sent to the Commission for Air Quality Management, which has been tasked by the Supreme Court to take a call on the reopening of schools and colleges, Rai said.
Rai also listed measures undertaken by the Delhi government to curb pollution, including a water sprinkling drive and anti-open burning, reported ANI.
Meanwhile, real-time data available on System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, or Safar, showed that Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index was at 328 as of 6 pm on Monday,
Air Quality Index, or AQI, between zero and 50 is considered “good’’, 51 and 100 “satisfactory’’, 101 and 200 “moderate’’, 201 and 300 “poor’’, 301 and 400 “very poor’’, and 401 and 500 “severe’’.