Gurugram: Schools will reopen today even as IMD predicts “very bad” air

Taking cues from neighboring Delhi, which has decided to reopen schools from next Monday, the Gurugram district administration said all schools and educational institutions will open from Friday with strict adherence to appropriate behavior. of Covid.

Decision to reopen schools and educational institutions comes despite the Supreme Court’s reimposition of the ban on construction activities in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), while allowing some non-polluting ancillary works such as plumbing and electrical installations. Previously, the Supreme Court had ordered schools to close and construction activities banned for about a week after pollution levels reached “severe” levels.

Meanwhile, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s Air Quality Index (AQI) bulletin, Gurugram was in the “very bad” area on Thursday with an AQI reading of 334. Vikas Sadan’s surveillance recorded an AQI of 329, sector 51 surveillance station recorded AQI 374, TERI Gram recorded AQI 293 while in Gwal Pahari the recording was 246.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday that there would be mostly calm and slow winds on Friday, which is unfavorable for the effective dispersal of pollutants. “Air quality is expected to be at the top of the very poor category on Friday and Saturday. For the next five days, the air quality is expected to remain in the very poor category. A gradual improvement is likely from Saturday, ”IMD said in its forecast.

IMD recorded a maximum temperature of 26 degrees Celsius on Thursday and a low of 9.4 ° C.

Sachin Panwar, a city-based air quality expert, said the drop in temperature and low wind speed will ensure that pollutants do not disperse and air quality remains in the category. “very bad” in the city for the next few days. “We expect things to improve slightly in December when it rains,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board said, in accordance with Supreme Court instructions, it has reimposed the ban on construction and demolition activities to reduce air pollution. in Gururgam and in the neighboring districts of the NCR. District pollution control authorities also ordered 48 industries to use only clean fuel, as only industries using piped natural gas are allowed to operate.

They also said they imposed an environmental compensation penalty of ??12.25 lakh against those who violate Grap guidelines (graduated response action plan).

“We imposed a penalty on NHAI and its contractor for pollution on the Dwarka highway. Three sites in Udyog Vihar and one in Sohna were also sanctioned. Sanctions were also imposed on users of diesel generators. Strict measures are taken against offenders; We have also asked government agencies to follow the standards, otherwise sanctions will be imposed on them, ”said Kuldip Singh, regional manager, HSPCB, north.

S Narayanan, Member Secretary, HSPCB, said all instructions given by the Supreme Court are being implemented in the districts of the NCR. “Construction activities are prohibited. Non-polluting activities, such as plumbing, interior decoration, electrical and carpentry work, are allowed to continue, ”he said.

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