Gopal Rai chairs meeting to review air pollution situation in Delhi

New Delhi: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday chaired a meeting to review the situation arising from air pollution in the city.

Addressing a press conference, Rai said, “A review meeting was held today with all the departments regarding the air pollution situation for the past one week. The pollution level, as per the AQI, between December 1 and December 12 has been between 250 and 325. Experts have said that the pollution level may increase on December 14, 15, 16 and after that, there is a possibility of improvement.”

“Many decisions were taken in the meeting today. The Environment Department has received a proposal that classes above 6th should be opened and classes above primary classes should also be opened from December 20. We are sending this proposal to the Commission for Air Quality Management as per the order of the Supreme Court.”

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“Entry of non-essential trucks will remain closed in Delhi as before. Suggestions have been sought from all departments regarding construction activities. After this suggestion, a meeting has been called again on December 16. Water sprinkling will be continued as before,” he said.

The air quality in the national capital continued to remain in the ‘poor’ category on Monday. The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) portal of the Ministry of Earth Sciences reported an air quality index (AQI) of 256 at 7.30 am.

The air quality of the NCR of Noida and Gurugram is also in the ‘poor’ category.

Gurugram logged an AQI of 286 and it stands at 256 in Noida.

As per the government agencies, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

The ministry’s portal advised people belonging to sensitive groups to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion, take more breaks and do less intense activities. “Asthmatics, keep medicine ready if symptoms of coughing or shortness of breath occur. Heart patients, see doctor, if palpitations, shortness of breath, or unusual fatigue occurs,” it read.

The order of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) concerning the closure of industries not running on clean fuels comes to an end on Sunday unless extended further. So residents are apprehensive about the air quality getting worse if strict measures to curb pollution do not continue.

CAQM had on December 7 ordered the immediate closure of all industries not running on cleaner fuel in industrial areas despite its availability. CAQM had said that violating industries or industrial units will not be permitted to schedule their operations till December 12 and the position will be reviewed for further decision.

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