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Schools, colleges to reopen from 29 Nov; only CNG, electric vehicles to be allowed in Delhi: Gopal Rai

The Delhi government on Monday lifted the ban on construction and demolition activities with the air quality showing improvement in the city.

SNS | New Delhi |

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday that all schools, colleges, and other educational institutions in the national capital ordered closed since 13 November, would reopen with effect from 29 November as the pollution level had come down from what it was earlier.

The Delhi government had extended the closure of offline classes on 17 November till further orders because of acute air pollution in the city.

Addressing a press conference, the minister said, “Schools, colleges, other educational institutions, and libraries will reopen on 29 November (Monday) as the air quality in Delhi has improved.”

He also declared that the government offices, functioning under the work-from-home system, will be operating normally with employees reporting for duty to their respective offices through the offline mode. The employees should, however, use the public transport facilities as far as possible, advised Gopal Rai. Special CNG buses will also be deployed for them.

However, with a view to preventing the city’s air quality from turning toxic again, the minister said only CNG and electric vehicles would be allowed entry into the national capital from 27 November. No other kind of vehicles will be allowed to enter Delhi till 3 December.

He added, “Until now, trucks and other commercial vehicles, excepting essential service trucks, were banned from entering Delhi. But today we have decided that starting on 27 November, CNG and electric trucks will be allowed to enter the city. Other trucks will remain banned till 3 December.”

Gopal Rai said, “For the last three days, there has been improvement in Delhi’s pollution levels. If we look at what the average air quality index was before Diwali, Delhi has reached those levels again. Today, we held a review meeting with high-level officials of Delhi, and many important decisions were taken.”

These decisions came after the Supreme Court directed earlier during the day that advanced measures must be taken to deal with Delhi’s air quality crisis. It suggested a statistics-based model on wind patterns to take advanced measures to curb air pollution in Delhi-NCR before the situation deteriorates.

The Delhi government on Monday lifted the ban on construction and demolition activities with the air quality showing improvement in the city.