The dwindling levels of air pollution in the capital city has prompted the Delhi government to announce the closure of schools till Friday, November 10, across New Delhi. The announcement was made on Sunday, November 5, by the Education Minister Atishi, according to The New Indian Express.
“As pollution levels continue to remain high, primary schools in Delhi will stay closed till 10th November. For Grade VI-XII, schools are being given the option of shifting to online classes,” said Atishi via the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).
Earlier it was announced by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that all the government and private primary schools in Delhi will remain closed on November 3 and November 4, given the rise in the pollution levels.
Under the Centre’s air pollution control plan, all emergency measures, including a ban on polluting trucks, commercial four-wheelers, and all types of construction, are mandated to be initiated and enforced in the National Capital Region (NCR) if the Air Quality Index (AQI) crosses the 450 mark.
The air quality in Delhi-NCR declined sharply over the past week due to a gradual drop in temperatures, and winds that trap the pollution. The situation has been further aggravated due to a surge in post-harvest paddy straw burning across Punjab and Haryana.
Opposition claims gov’t slackening
The opposition party has claimed that the lack of adequate policies to curb pollution has affected the city’s functioning. They further claim that instead of working on a policy for them, the Delhi government has abruptly stopped construction activity in Delhi affecting the businessmen and the labourers working for daily wages, as per a report by The New Indian Express.
It is further alleged that due to the lack of planning and placing stringent policies, the erstwhile government is harassing people running small enterprises, traders, shopkeepers, workshop owners and others in the name of pollution control.