Schools & colleges to be closed until further notice in Delhi; 50% WFH advised for govt & private offices

Ever since Diwali night, the air quality in the national capital has dropped severely as the city continues to be covered in a thick blanket of toxic smoke. The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) – a subcommittee of the Central Pollution Control Board – issued a series of directions on late Tuesday night and ordered that schools and colleges will be closed until further notice in Delhi and the neighbouring cities. Following this order, schools and educational institutions will be returning to online classes like the ones held during the lockdown. 

Apart from this, the CAQM has also advised government offices to allow at least 50 perfect employees to work from home in the states in the NCR region which includes Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh till the 21st of November. Not only government offices, private firms too are encouraged to function with 50% attendance when it comes to employees. 

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Apart from these instructions for schools and colleges, the order by CAQM further mentions “heavy penalty on persons/organisations responsible for stacking construction materials… or waste on roads in NCR” and “augment availability of road-sweeping machines in NCR”. It is important to note that although Delhi has 11 thermal power plants, only 5 will be functioning. 

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Adding to the list of directions, CAQM has issued that trucks should not be allowed to enter Delhi, except for the ones carrying essential commodities. Petrol and diesel vehicles older than 10 and 15 years respectively will also be not allowed on roads and those driving without proper without a valid emission control certificate will be pulled up. 

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Recently, the Supreme Court questioned the Delhi government over its lack of emergency planning and responses to avert the crisis of air pollution that has been proving detrimental to the quality of life in the city for so long.

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