New Delhi: The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the National Capital Region and adjoining areas on Tuesday (November 16, 2021) late night ordered the closure of all schools, colleges and educational institutions in Delhi-NCR till further notice and said that only online mode of education will continue.

As the level of pollution continues to be at an alarming level, the CAQM also ordered to halt all construction activities in NCR till November 21 except projects related to Railways, Metro, Airport and National Security/Defence.

It also banned the entry of all trucks in the national capital till November 21, except those carting essential commodities. 

The Commission also advised Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh governments and private firms to allow at least 50% of staff to work from home till November 21.

The directions came after the Commission held a meeting on Tuesday with senior officials of Delhi and NCR states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in connection with the severe air pollution in the region ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on the matter. 

The Delhi government has been directed to expeditiously procure and put on the road an adequate number of CNG buses at the earliest.

Authorities in NCR have also been ordered to ensure that no diesel and petrol vehicles older than 10 years and 15 years, respectively, are found plying on road.

The order also included deploying anti-smog guns, water sprinklers and augmentation of dust suppressants thrice a day and a penalty on persons/organisations stacking construction and demolition waste on roads, roadsides and a total ban on DG sets as per GRAP (graded response action plan, already in place since a month).

Chief Secretaries of Delhi and NCR states have been directed to monitor the implementation of the directions on a regular basis and file a compliance report before the commission on Monday.

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