New Delhi: The national capital witnessed a slight improvement in the air quality on Monday (November 22, 2021) morning but continued to gasp for breath as the air quality index (AQI) remained in the ‘very poor’ category.

As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), Delhi’s overall AQI at 6:30 AM was at 301. It may be noted that the overall AQI reduced from 347 from Sunday to 301 today.

“Transport level winds are likely to become strong from tonight till 23rd noon and coming from the favourable northwest direction. As farm fire counts are reducing rapidly, the %share of stubble burning related pollutants to Delhi’s PM2.5 may remain low in spite of high wind speeds,” SAFAR stated.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

Meanwhile, with an aim to curb air pollution, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on Sunday (November 21, 2021) extended the ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items into the national capital and work from home for its employees till November 26.    

“The government offices shall remain closed till 26 November 2021 except those involved in essential services. The private offices are advised to allow their staff to work from home till 26 November 2021,” read the order issued by the Delhi government. 

The order also lifted the ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi. 

According to the advice of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), the Directorate of Education announced that the schools and colleges in the national capital will remai shut till further orders.

“Keeping in view the very poor air quality forecast and that vehicular pollution would cause extensive air pollution and release harmful air pollutants, particularly when the air quality is very poor, it is felt that there is a need for further extension of the curbs on vehicular movement in Delhi,” an order issued by the environment department stated.

“Stop entry of trucks in Delhi except the trucks carrying essential commodities till November 26, subject to further review for an extension of this date,” the ordder added.

“All offices of GNCT of Delhi/autonomous bodies/corporations shall remain closed till November 26 except those involved in essential and emergency services…. However, all the officers/officials shall work from home,” it further said.

Earlier, on Wednesday, as per the advice of the CAQM, the Delhi government had issued 10 directions to combat air pollution in the national capital, including a closure of schools and colleges and a ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items into the city, till further orders.

The Delhi government had also issued a notice and banned construction and demolition activities in the city and ordered its employees to work from home till November 21.

Additionally, the Kejriwal government also said, under “Paryawaran Sewa” from Monday, it has hired around 550 buses from private operators to start plying on the Delhi roads.

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