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Environment

Will await response of Air Quality panel to reopen Delhi schools: Minister

New Delhi, Dec 13 (MNN) The Delhi government will wait for the response of Air Quality Management Commission on Education Department proposal to reopen schools and colleges in the national capital to take an appropriate action.

Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Monday that the Environment Department had forwarded the proposal of the Delhi Education Department to immediate reopen colleges and schools for Classes 6 and above and schools with primary to Classes 5 from December 20.

He said that officials of Delhi departments concerned held a meeting during the day to review the pollution situation in the national capital and taken a number of crucial decisions.

The Environment Minister said: “We held a joint meeting with all departments and authorities concerned to review the pollution situation in Delhi. The trend over the past one week shows that pollution in Delhi — which became quite severe after Diwali – is gradually going down. If we look at pollution figures from December 1 to 12, AQI has remained within 250-325 range. Experts say that we may see a slight increase in this level over the next three days. After December 16, it is expected that the pollution will decrease.”

Rai said that various agencies who had requested for easing of the ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi have been directed to submit applications in writing, which will be forwarded to the Air Quality Management Commission and reviewed on December 16.

A ban on entry of trucks except those carrying essential supplies and CNG etc will continue as of now.

The Delhi government will also continue with its anti-dust and anti-open burning campaigns apart from checking of PUC certificates of vehicles till further orders.

He said that the dust control measures like sprinkling of water too will continue for now. “All departments, MCDs, PWD, and the Fire Brigade have been directed to sustain this campaign until further orders.”

Rai said that 6,953 sites have so far been inspected by various teams under the anti-dust campaign. Of these, 597 have been issued notices and fines totalling Rs 1.65 crore levied on them.”

“A total of 16,580 sites were inspected under the anti-open burning campaign, of which 2,490 were issued notices and fines totalling Rs 46.96 lakh imposed. Through the Green Delhi app, we received 6,975 complaints since October 2021, of which 5,686 or 81 per cent were redressed,” the Minister added.

Rai said that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation accounted for a majority of the complaints received.

“The PUC certificate checking campaign will also continue at petrol pumps throughout Delhi, which entails a fine of Rs 10,000 on violators. In three months, 19,50,000 PUC certificates have been checked, of which owners of 49,000 vehicles were fined. All these measures and campaigns by the Delhi government over the last two months will continue until further orders.”

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