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Gurgaon schools to reopen today, air quality still ‘severe’

District administration advises schools to start classes from 9am. City’s AQI rises to 466 on Monday after a slight dip on Saturday

gurgaon Updated: Nov 14, 2017 00:01 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times
Gurgaon pollution,NCR pollution,Delhi air
The city’s worsening air has worried authorities who enforced stringent measures to control pollution, as recommended under the graded response action plan.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

After showing signs of improvement, the city’s air took a turn for the worse again on Monday as the 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) value remained in the ‘severe’ category with 466.

Despite the alarming pollution level, the district administration directed city schools to reopen on Tuesday. However, school managements have been advised to change the timings to 9am-3.30pm. They have also been told to suspend all outdoor activities for students till further notice.

In the wake of alarming pollution, city schools were asked to suspend classes on Thursday and students, though cooped up indoors, enjoyed an extended weekend break.

“All outdoor activities and school events have been suspended to avoid exposure of children to pollution. Schools also need to take care of children suffering from respiratory ailments,” deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said.

According to the data released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the city’s AQI on Monday evening was recorded at 466, against Sunday’s value of 460 at the same time.

Earlier, Gurgaon’s AQI value had dropped to 436 from 494 on Thursday and 485 on Friday.

The city’s worsening air has worried authorities who enforced stringent measures as recommended under the graded response action plan (GRAP).

Deputy Commissioner confirmed that the suspension of construction activities is in place until “the next hearing of the National Green Tribunal”, which was scheduled for November 14.

To check rising pollution, the National Green Tribunal on November 9 had directed the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana to ensure that no crop residue is burnt and incentives are provided to farmers.

This was among the slew of measures that the NGT had recommended the civic bodies of various regions in the NCR to observe so the deadly smog could be kept from becoming more toxic.

Under GRAP, brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers were also shut down until further orders and eateries banned from using coal or firewood.

The district administration banned the plying of petrol vehicles manufactured before 2002 and diesel vehicles manufactured before 2007 and suspended all construction till Tuesday.

In addition to these measures, 57 manufacturing companies with “high emissions” were directed to halt production under the Air Act on Saturday.

The Haryana police has also been diverting heavy commercial vehicles and trucks at Bawal, located 65km from Gurgaon. The patch is experiencing long jams because of the diversion necessitated by a ban on heavy vehicles from entering Delhi.

First Published: Nov 14, 2017 00:01 IST