Delhi pollution: Educational institutions to be shut; construction, industries to stop till Nov 21


Intl desk, Nov 17: The Indian Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) late Tuesday night directed that schools, colleges and educational institutions in the National Capital Region will remain closed until further orders, allowing only online mode of education.

This means that students who had just started with the physical classes after long Covid disturbance will again switch to online learning.

The CAQM, according to the report, has also asked Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to “encourage” work from home for 50 per cent capacity in all private establishments that fall in NCR till November 21.

The panel also said that only five of the 11 thermal power plants located within a 300 km radius of Delhi – NTPC, Jhajjar; Mahatma Gandhi TPS, CLP Jhajjar; Panipat TPS, HPGCL; Nabha Power Ltd. TPS, Rajpura and Talwandi Sabo TPS, Mansa – will remain operational till November 30.

The commission directed Delhi and the NCR states to stop construction and demolition activities in the region till November 21, barring “railway services/railway stations, metro rail corporation services, including stations, airports and inter-state bus terminals (ISBTS) and national security/defence-related activities/ projects of national importance” subject to strict compliance of the C&D Waste Management Rules and dust control norms.

Trucks carrying non-essential items have been banned from entering Delhi till Sunday in a bid to contain the spiralling air pollution levels.

The commission held a meeting on Tuesday with senior officials of Delhi and NCR states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in connection with the severe air pollution in the region ahead of a Supreme Court hearing the matter.

“All public and private schools, colleges and educational institutions in NCR shall remain closed until further orders allowing only online mode of education,” the CAQM directions read.

NCR state governments have been directed to allow work from home (WFH) for at least 50 per cent of their staff in offices in NCR till Sunday and encourage private establishments to follow suit.

“All industries in NCR still using unapproved fuels shall be closed by respective governments with immediate effect… The NCR States and GNCTD shall enforce a strict ban on the use of DG sets, except for emergency services,” the panel said.

Authorities in NCR have been ordered to ensure that no diesel and petrol vehicles older than 10 years and 15 years, respectively, are found plying on road.

The governments of Delhi and NCR states have been asked to stop the plying of visibly polluting vehicles.

Only those vehicles with valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates will be allowed on Delhi roads.

Traffic task-force teams are to be deployed at various points in Delhi to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

Source: News Agencies