Delhi government announced a number of precautionary steps to combat the pollution crisis in India’s national capital. Primary schools in Delhi would be closed from Saturday, November 5, whereas for secondary and higher secondary school students, outdoor activities would remain restricted. At the same time, 50 percent of government staff would be working from home, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said. The entry of trucks, too, has been banned till next order, he added. 

The development comes after air quality monitors across Delhi-NCR showed ‘Severe’ readings this week, prompting people to demand pollution-control measures. Jahangirpuri emerged as the most polluted place in the capital with AQI over 700.

Odd-Even traffic rationing measures may come back

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that his government is also considering bringing back odd-even traffic rationing measures for private vehicles in the national capital. 

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“Delhi government is also considering to adopt the odd-even policy in Delhi. Even in Punjab, steps are being taken to avoid stubble burning,” Kejriwal, who was also joined by Punjab Chief Minister and his fellow Aam Aadmi Party leader Bhagwant Mann, said.

Look at the air quality of other states: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Kejriwal said air quality in various cities across north India was severe. The Delhi government was not solely responsible and the Centre needed to step in and take measures, he said.

“We have to find solutions, instead of blaming each other. Punjab and Delhi solely aren’t responsible for pollution. Look at the air quality index of other states also,” he said, calling for a joint meeting of chief ministers to find solutions.

The Supreme Court will on November 10 is scheduled to hear a plea seeking measures to reduce air pollution in Delhi and National Capital Region.

(With inputs from agencies)


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