Iran's capital extends closure of schools over heavy air pollution

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-23 02:44:54|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- The governor of Tehran Province on Sunday extended the closure of schools and kindergartens in Iran's capital Tehran until Dec. 28, citing the alarming air pollution.

The schools and kindergartens in the capital have been shut down because of poor air quality in the past days.

Anoushiravan Mohseni Bandpay, governor general of Tehran Province, told official IRNA news agency that the Air Pollution Exigency Committee has also imposed restrictions on the movement of cars in Tehran's streets.

Besides, long vehicles and trucks are banned outright in Tehran Province, Bandpay was quoted as saying.

He urged the residents of the capital to postpone their unnecessary trips in the city or to use public transportation for their daily activities.

The police will stop the smoking vehicles moving on the streets, the governor added.

Over the past days, Iranian officials have repeatedly warned the young, elderly and people with respiratory illnesses to stay indoors and suspend sporting activities.

Air pollution is expected to linger for another five days "unless the helping hand of nature brings a strong gust of wind to help Tehran's residents," according to Iran Meteorological Organization, Eghtesadonline news website reported Sunday.

Mohammad Taqizadeh, a member of Tehran City Council, said the odd-even traffic plan will be re-imposed in the next days to alleviate the volume of commutation in the city.

As per the odd-even rule, cars would ply the streets on alternate days, depending on the odd and even numbers of the license plate.

Heavy traffic, factory pollution and lack of wind and rain in recent days have worsened the air quality in Tehran.

Pollutants measured to determine air quality include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ground-level ozone and particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10), according to Eghtesadonline.

Earlier this month, Pirouz Hanachi, mayor of Tehran, said the burning of fossil fuels, excessive use of private cars and the growing number of low-quality motorcycles are the main culprits behind the air pollution in the megacity.