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India

oi-Deepika S

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Nov 17: Schools and colleges in Delhi, NCR will remain shut till further notice, only online classes from tomorrow, Centre’s panel on air pollution, said in a late night order on Tuesday.

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The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has directed Delhi-NCR to allow at least 50 per cent of staff to work from home till November 21. Private companies should also be “encouraged” to allow at least 50 per cent of their staff to work from home.

The order also calls for “heavy penalty on persons/organisations responsible for stacking construction materials… or waste on roads in NCR” and “augment availability of road-sweeping machines in NCR”.

Construction activities and demolition projects across Delhi NCR have been stopped till November 21 as well, with exceptions made for railway services/stations, Metro operations, airports and bus terminals, as well as national security or defence-related activities and projects.

The order will be in place till November 21.

Delhi’s air quality was again in the severe category with the 24-hour average AQI recorded at 403 after remaining in the ‘very poor’ category till Tuesday morning, when the AQI was recorded at 396.

The air quality index in neighbouring cities was also in the ‘very poor category — Ghaziabad (356), Greater Noida (361), Gurugram (369) and Noida (397) — at 4 PM.

The Delhi government had informed the Supreme Court that it is ready to take steps like complete lockdown to control air pollution but such a step would be meaningful if it is implemented across the NCR areas in neighbouring states.

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