Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a high-level emergency meeting at the Delhi Secretariat on Saturday evening and announced a series of week-long steps to test the rising air quality.
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All schools, colleges and educational institutions will be closed for a week from Monday, all construction activities will be banned for three days from Sunday and all government offices, except those employed in the emergency services, will switch from home to work mode. Private offices are also advised to choose work from home. If the state of emergency continues in the capital, the system may be extended.
Even if the schools are closed, the virtual classes will continue so that the students do not do any more harm to their studies. Physical classes resumed at the school earlier this month after nearly a year and a half due to the Kovid epidemic.
Regarding the possibility of another lockdown in Delhi, the Chief Minister said that the government was working on a “lockdown proposal” but it would be implemented only after considering all aspects of such extreme measures.
“We are not imposing a lockdown at the moment, because it is important to evaluate the impact of such a move first. We are drafting a proposal on this possibility and will present it to the court at the next hearing This will be the most extreme step, if it is taken, so long discussions will be held with all the concerned agencies. Centers including CPCB and SAFAR will be taken into confidence before making such a decision. If a situation like a lockdown occurs, all vehicles, industries and construction activities may be shut down. It is still in the process of being proposed and will be put before the court first, “Kejriwal said.
The apex court had suggested that the Center and the Delhi government would consider imposing a two-day lockdown if necessary in areas where air quality has deteriorated in the capital. During the hearing of a case in this regard, the SC commented.
“From Monday, physical classes in schools will be closed for a week. There will be virtual classes for students. The measure will protect children, in particular, from inhaling toxic air outside the confines of their homes, “Kejriwal said, adding that the government wanted to address the growing emergency in Delhi due to increasing pollution.
“Our goal at the moment is to protect this family of 20 million residents of Delhi, especially our children, who are in dire need of care and prevention at this moment,” the CM said.
The CM said a three-day construction ban was needed because the weather forecast indicated that conditions during this period would be worse than the current situation. “The winds between 14-17 are not really expected, and we all know that straw burning pollution, in any case, will enter Delhi, creating a catastrophic situation. Thus, for the time being, we have taken drastic steps to pull the plug on the construction work, ”said the CM.
“All government offices in Delhi will work from home for a week,” Kerjariwal said. All government offices will be closed, but it is important to note that this is not a holiday. The entire workforce will continue to work remotely for this week. Officers must be present in case of emergency call. A similar line of advice will be issued for private offices to work from home as much as possible. ”
The Chief Minister said that the level of pollution has increased significantly in the last few days. “The data clearly shows that the air in Delhi was not so polluted before September 30 and it was at ‘satisfactory’ levels even on bad days. Until then, the AQI was close to 100, but since then, the AQI has been rising sharply. This is mainly because the farmers of our neighboring states have been forced to burn their hay helplessly. However, the Delhi government does not want to waste critical time in this situation by entering into a fault game, “Kejriwal said.
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