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schools

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A combination of smoke from the burning of stubble of crops in Punjab and Haryana and the already present and increasing moisture has turned Delhi into a gas chamber.

Today, the Central Pollution Control Board said that the air quality index (AQI) for New Delhi on Wednesday, November 08 2017, has plummeted and is at its worst at 484.  On Tuesday, it had touched 448 in a scale of 500 and had already entered the ‘severe’ category before falling even lower today.

An order came this morning on from Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s office. It said that, the air pollution has become unbearable and is affecting all the residents of the city.  The reason cited for this can be stubble burning in the states of Haryana and Punjab or the vehicular pollution but the fact remains… that it is damaging the health of Delhi’s residents.

On the Yamuna Expressway, several cars piled up due to fog & low visibility. However, any casualties were avoided. According to the police, this incident took place at around 8:30 am, near the Eastern Peripheral Expressway over-bridge, that leads towards Noida from Agra. At this place, around 7 cars smashed into each other, one by one. 4 people were injured and quickly taken to a nearby hospital. On the other side of the same expressway, on the road leading to Agra from Noida, 5 cars smashed into each other due to dense smog.

Mr. Sisodia has said that schools will be closed till this week-end and will re-open on Monday.  This order applies to all government, municipality-run and all the private schools functioning in the National Capital and it applies to all the classes.

According to IANS, around 30 trains coming to Delhi and more than 30 flights landing or taking off from the Delhi airport were delayed today.

The AQI has shown the air quality was severe at 15 monitoring stations and terribly poor in the nearby regions of Anand Vihar.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is looking forward to a meeting with his counterparts in Punjab and Haryana. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss measures to bring down the highly alarming pollution levels.

He said in a tweet that, he is writing letters to Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana and requesting them for a meeting to find solution to the problem of crop burning. The transport department and the traffic police have been ordered to take required action against vehicles which flout pollution control norms in any way.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), located at Indraprastha Marg, has asked the students to claim their right to breathe clean air. The students are urged to wear black masks or handkerchiefs on Monday, November 13, during their school’s morning assembly.

Mr. Sisodia said that the government may extend the closure of schools if pollution levels remained severe.

National Weather Forecasting Centre (NWFC) has said that the the dense fog is likely to continue for three more days. This will reduce visibility in the forenoon as conditions then are highly favourable for the formation of fog.

A combination of smoke from the burning of stubble of crops in Punjab and Haryana and the already present and increasing moisture has turned Delhi into a gas chamber. This has prompted the authorities to announce a series of preventive measures. These measures include a four-fold hike in parking fees and the slashing of metro fares.

 

-Archit

 

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IN the absense of the decentralised socio economic, educational, industrial, medical , agricultural and health related development during the last seventeen years though the conditions of the local towns must have improved to some extent, the large scale influx to the tune of about 32 lakh inhabitants of Uttarakhand from villages to state capital Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh etc and metropolises like Delhi and Mumbai have undubtedly led people to believe that the successive governments of this Himalayan state have indeed not responded to the expectations of the rural electorates and instead promoted the interests of the plain areas and those residing here enjoying all facilities and comforts.

Lot and lot have been said and written about the plight of the hill people who had been constrained to leave villages enmasse in view of the lack of basic health and educational facilities including options of job avenues. Health and education apart from sustenance through agriculture are the prime basic requirements of human beings. But unfortnately the governments of Uttarakhand which have ruled this 17 years old state have drastically failed on these fronts though they do claim of doung tremendously for the peoples’welfare. Now the situation has gone to such a sorry pass that deliveries of ptegnant women are taking place on swinging bridges as happened just a few days ago in Tyuni Chakrata in a constituency of the state Congress president and five time MLA but under the rule of the BJP government.

One can just imagine the plight of the women in view of the lack of health n medical faciities. Similarly on the educational front two while the state is already witnessing closure of about25000 primary and middle schools and new order by the state’s education minister Arvind Pandey has further added to the vows of the remaining villagers of Uttarakhand. According to the new order the schools which has the capacity of less than 10 students willbe either closed or merged with the other school situated within the periphery of one kilometre. This means thousands of other schools are now on verge of closure in addition to the already shut down schools thus adversely affecting the educational career of thousands of poor village students of primary, middle and intermediate schools. According to one of the reports out of several blocks in Uttarakhand Bironkhal block in Garhwal will witness the closure of such 55 schools. Bironkhal development block has 135 primary schools.

But due to the complacense and ignorant attitide of the local teachers andthe officers of the department of education the status and standard of education is not improvising as a result of which the students participation in primary schols is decreasing day by day. Therefore the poor parents are worried of their childrens’ academic future. Similarly is the condition of schools in almost all the blocks of Uttarakhand. The teachers use their political clout or after allegedly bribing senior officers get themselves transferred to the plain areas near their hous and majority of the schools in the interiors are without teachers thus affecting the career of the students.

Same is the condition of the local hospitals and health centres where doctors are conspicuous by their absense. Such disturbing and shocking status of schools and hospitals in the interiors and even towns of Uttarakhand bereft of teachers, students and doctors have ultimately led villages to leave their respective villages and migrate to the plains in search of adequate and better job, educational and health prospects thus literally undermining the concept for which separate Uttarakhand state was created after the loss of 47 precious lives. It’s not that the government is not doing anything. They are definitely doing but the thrust is required in the interior villages not in towns.

SUNIL NEGI