Schools to remain shut, offices go back to WFH as pollution hits emergency levels in Delhi

Schools to remain shut, offices go back to WFH as pollution hits emergency levels in Delhi thumbnail

For a week from Monday, schools in Delhi will be physically closed “so that children don’t have to breathe polluted air,” the Delhi government announced today.

Classes will continue virtually.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal chaired an emergency meeting to tackle air pollution after Supreme Court asked authorities to take immediate measures.

We are working on a proposal for lockdown in Delhi, will present plan to Supreme Court, the Delhi CM said.

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Health minister Satyendar Jain, Environment minister Gopal Rai and Delhi Chief Secretary to take part in the meeting.

Government offices will also operate from home at 100% capacity for a week and private offices to be issued an advisory to go for WFH option as much as possible.

Construction activities not to be allowed from November 14 to November 17, Kejriwal announced after the meeting.

The overall air quality in Delhi on Saturday morning was recorded in the “severe” category with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 499 at 7:35 am, according to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting Research (SAFAR).

Terming the rise in air pollution in Delhi-NCR an “emergency” situation, the Supreme Court on Saturday suggested clamping a lockdown in the national capital as it asked the Centre and the Delhi government to take immediate measures to improve the air quality.

The court said the situation of pollution is so bad that people are wearing masks inside their houses.

Of the world’s top 10 cities with the worst air quality, three — Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, are in India, data from air quality and pollution city tracking service from IQAir, a Switzerland-based climate group showed.

While Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) at 556 made it to the top of the list, Kolkata and Mumbai recorded an AQI of 177 and 169, respectively, at fourth and sixth position, on the list.

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