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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Pollution forces Noida schools to be shut till November 5

Despite the Sunday morning drizzles, the AQI in Noida was at 492 around 2 pm as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. Air quality is considered good when the AQI is below 50 and satisfactory as long as it is under 100.

noida Updated: Nov 03, 2019 15:15 IST
HT Sanjeev K Jha
HT Sanjeev K Jha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Noida Authority had arrested over two dozen people for flouting the construction ban on Saturday
The Noida Authority had arrested over two dozen people for flouting the construction ban on Saturday(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
         

All Noida schools have been ordered to remain shut on Monday, November 4, and Tuesday, November 5, due to extremely high pollution levels in the district bordering Delhi.

The official notice by the district administration clearly states that schools-- Nursery to class 12-- would remain shut for two days due to excessive presence of PM-10 and PM-2.5 pollutants in the air and the air quality index (AQI) in the city crossing the severe category.

Despite the Sunday morning drizzles, the AQI in Noida was at 492 around 2 pm as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. Air quality is considered good when the AQI is below 50 and satisfactory as long as it is under 100.

The concentration of PM-2.5 in the last 24 hours at sector 62 monitoring station was at 140.56 µg/m3 and at 326.39 µg/m3 for PM-10, way above the safe levels-- 60.00 µg/m3 for PM-2.5 and 100.00 µg/m3 for PM-10.

District Magistrate B N Singh said school kids couldn’t be allowed to suffer in the hazardous conditions and added that the break will help bring down pollution by keeping hundreds of carbon-emitting buses and cars-- ferrying school children—out of city roads.

 Also Watch | Delhi’s air quality dips to ‘severe’ category despite mild showers

Bursting of crackers, irrespective of any family or religious function, along with all construction work, has also been banned for the entire duration of the winter season.

“These actions are being taken under graded response action plan,” Singh said.

In neighboring Delhi, CPCB data at 9 am showed AQI at 473. The air quality at most monitoring stations in the capital was in the ‘severe’ category.

On Friday, the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (Epca) had declared a health emergency and directed a slew of measures, including shutting down of schools and a complete ban on construction activities in Delhi and the neighbouring satellite towns until November 5.

The situation is expected to remain grim as the period till November 15 is vulnerable to a surge in air pollution as smoke from farm fires in the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana settles over NCR and adjoining regions.