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Kejriwal to start electric bus shuttle service for govt employees from today to combat air pollution

Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi party government to start electric bus shuttle service for govt employees from today to combat air pollution. This move comes after the national capital’s air quality slipped into the ‘severe’ category.

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi party government to start electric bus shuttle service for govt employees from today to combat air pollution, a senior official said. This move comes after the national capital’s air quality slipped into the ‘severe’ category. The shuttle services will start from Kidwai Nagar and RK Puram for Central Secretariat for Central government employees, Transport Commissioner Ashish Kundra said in a post on X (formerly known as twitter).

Also Read :- Restrictions relaxed under Stage-III of GRAP in entire Delhi-NCR as air quality improves

For Delhi government employees, the e-bus shuttle service will also run from Gulabi Bagh to Delhi Secretariat, Kundra added. The e-bus service aims to reduce the carbon footprint while encouraging people to switch to public transport.

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GRAP-3 measures invoked in Delhi-NCR

Delhi-NCR’s air quality approached emergency limits on Thursday (November 2), prompting an immediate ban on non-essential construction work and closure of primary schools in the capital as authorities warned of the health threat. Swift action was taken to remove the pollution.

As a dense and acrid smog blanketed the skies over Delhi-NCR, the concentration of PM2.5, tiny particles that can penetrate deep into the respiratory system and trigger health problems, crossed the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre. It became seven times more. Up to eight times as much in many places across the region.

According to a numerical model-based system developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune, smoke from stubble burning accounted for 25 per cent of the PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on Thursday. It may soar to 35 per cent on Friday.

Concerned about increasing air pollution levels, the Centre’s pollution control panel ordered an immediate ban on non-essential construction work, stone crushing and mining in the region. Restrictions have also been imposed on plying of BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.

Also Read :- Hope Rises for Improved Air Quality in Delhi as Light Rain Falls

All Primary schools closed in Delhi for 2 days

In the wake of rising air pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that all government and private primary schools in the city will remain closed for the next two days in view of rising pollution levels. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has called an emergency meeting on Friday to review the situation.

The Centre’s action comes as part of Stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) — the Centre’s air pollution control plan which is implemented in the region during the winter season.

Also Read :- Ludhiana Grapples with Hazardous Air Quality Despite Decrease in Stubble Burning

GRAP categorises actions into four stages:

Stage I – ‘poor’ (AQI 201-300)
Stage II – ‘very poor’ (AQI 301-400)
Stage III – ‘severe’ (AQI 401-450)
Stage IV – ‘severe plus’ (AQI above 450)

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body responsible for developing strategies to combat pollution in the region, said the pollution levels are only expected to increase further owing to highly unfavourable meteorological and climatic conditions.

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