Chief Minister Kejriwal calls high level meeting on air pollution

Chief Minister Kejriwal calls high level meeting on air pollution

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will chair a high-level meeting today over the pollution crisis in the national capital. The meeting, scheduled at 12 pm, will be attended by Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai and senior officials from concerned departments such as transport, MCD, Delhi Police and Delhi Traffic Police, among others.

The meeting comes as Delhi continues to be covered in thick haze as the air quality remains in the ‘severe’ category, data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed on Monday.

This is the fourth consecutive day that the national capital recorded a ‘severe’ air quality. The overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 437 at 9 am, according to CPCB data.

The implementation of Centre’s Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), which was invoked in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR) on Sunday, will be discussed at the meeting. Additional emergency measures across the city are likely to be discussed in the meeting.

The final stage of the anti-pollution plan is activated at least three days before the AQI exceeds the 450 mark in Delhi. However, proactive implementation could not take place this time.

The AQI at 9 am was recorded at 478 in Bawana, at 459 in Dwarka Sector 8, at 475 in Jahangirpuri, at 466 in Mundka, at 460 in Narela, at 444 in New Moti Bagh, at 446 in Okhla Phase-2, at 469 in Punjabi Bagh, at 462 in RK Puram, at 478 in Rohini, at 430 in Siri Fort, and at 482 in Wazirpur, among others.

The air quality in Noida and Gurugram also remained in the ‘severe’ category.

The Delhi government on Sunday ordered that all primary schools in the city will stay closed till November 10 due to deteriorating air quality. Delhi Education Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi made the announcement on X. For classes 6 to 12, schools have been given the option to conduct sessions in the onlibe mode.

The final stage of the Centre’s anti-pollution plan has been invoked in the Delhi-NCR. This includes several restrictions such as a ban on non-essential truck movement in Delhi, construction works (including public projects), and work-from-home directives for 50 per cent of staff in government and private offices.

Additionally, state governments may consider implementing more emergency measures such as closure of colleges and other educational institutions, non-emergency commercial activities, and allowing vehicles to run on an odd-even basis as per the registration numbers.

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