Schools in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad reopened on Monday after nearly a week because of high pollution levels in the Capital and surrounding regions, The Indian Express reported. However, institutes in Gurugram will remain shut.
“There is no order for schools to be closed on Monday,” an unidentified Delhi government spokesperson was quoted as saying. “But we will be evaluating the situation at each step.”
Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ritu Maheshwari said schools would reopen at 9 am on Monday “as opposed to the earlier hour to ensure children are not exposed to high levels of pollution”. Noida District Magistrate BN Singh said, “Schools are open on Monday, but principals have been called for a meeting, after which a decision will be made for future dates”.
Some private schools in Noida will remain closed till Tuesday. Singh said some institutes had raised concerns about how studies are being affected by the uncontrolled pollution levels. “If not closure, we might alter the school timings,” he said.
In Gurugram, all schools will remain shut on Monday. “All government and private schools are to be closed on November 13 due to the continuing smog situation in past 48 hours,” Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said.
Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal on Monday is likely to hear the Delhi government’s review petition on allowing the odd-even scheme rationing vehicular movement in the Capital, with exemptions for women and two-wheelers. On Saturday, the green court had refused to permit these exemptions, after which the Delhi government called it off.
Pollution levels remain ‘severe’
Pollution levels in Delhi on Sunday night remained in the “severe” category – the highest level on the Air Quality Index. At 8 pm, levels of particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5 were at 622 and 638 at Lodhi Road, 584 and 568 in Noida, and 544 and 512 at Terminal 3 of the Delhi airport, according to the government’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.
On Monday at 7 am, the AQI in Gurugram was “hazardous” at 420. At 707, it was in the same category in Delhi at 8 am.
An Air Quality Index reading up to 50 is considered “good” and up to 100 is considered “satisfactory”. A reading between 401 and 500 is ranked “severe” on the index, which means the air is dangerously filled with pollutants.