In what will come as a relief for students and parents, all government and private schools in Delhi will reopen from Monday following a decline in pollution levels. The announcement was made by the Delhi government on Saturday.
According to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), the average air quality index in Delhi on Saturday was 317, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category.
While the schools will reopen, the government said that there will be a ban on outdoor sports activities and morning assemblies for one week.
On November 8, after a dip in air quality and the enforcement of Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan, the education department had declared an early winter break from November 9-18.
The announcement on reopening schools came hours after the improvement in Delhi’s air quality from ‘severe’ to ‘very poor’ prompted the Commission for Air Quality Management, a statutory body responsible for formulating strategies to combat pollution in the National Capital Region and adjoining areas, to order the removal of GRAP-IV curbs.
Stage IV restrictions, which had been imposed on November 5, include a ban on all diesel four-wheelers except those vehicles that comply with BS-VI emission norms. All diesel-powered medium and heavy goods vehicles, except those used for essential or emergency services, had been banned from entering the national capital. These restrictions have now been lifted.
Findings from a joint project by the Delhi government and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, revealed that vehicular emissions accounted for about 45 per cent of the national capital’s air pollution on Friday. This is likely to reduce to 38 per cent on Saturday.