Primary schools shut in Delhi from tomorrow as pollution worsens
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday held the excessive stubble burning in Punjab responsible for the worsening air quality in the national capital region (NCR) over the last few days. With the air quality in Delhi and adjoining areas in the 'severe' category, primary schools in Delhi will be shut until the situation improves.
Why does this story matter?
- Delhi is among the world's most polluted cities, presenting a major health risk for its nearly 30 million residents.
- Both city and central governments have been repeatedly pulled up by the Supreme Court to implement anti-pollution measures.
- Notably, Delhi's air quality turns hazardous every winter due to industrial and vehicular pollution, stubble burning, and bursting of firecrackers, among other reasons.
AAP governments not solely responsible: Kejriwal
Addressing a joint press conference with Mann in Delhi, Kejriwal said he is mulling bringing back the odd-even scheme for vehicles to control pollution as vehicular emissions are one of the chief contributors to deteriorating air quality. The Delhi CM said air pollution was a North Indian problem and the AAP governments of Delhi and Punjab are not solely responsible for the situation.
6 months less time, asking for 1 more year: Kejriwal
प्रदूषण पर पंजाब के मुख्यमंत्री के साथ एक संयुक्त प्रेस वार्ता। https://t.co/0bLYYvVBul— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 4, 2022
Wind blowing from stubble-burning areas to Delhi
Unfavorable meteorological conditions saw upper level (700 to 1000 meter) wind blowing from stubble-burning areas toward Delhi, keeping the air quality index (AQI) in the 'severe' band. As many as 2,994 farm fires were counted which contributed 34% to particulate matter of size 2.5 micron (PM2.5), as per the data from the Ministry of Earth Science.
Primary schools in Delhi, middle schools in Noida shut
All primary schools in Delhi and even middle schools up to Class 8 in Noida will be shut after the latter saw the AQI at 562. The figure of 500 is the worst on the scale, indicating alarming levels of pollutants in the air. The air quality could slightly improve after Saturday. Classes 9 to 12 were also advised to be conducted online.
Air pollution in NCR off the charts
Air quality continues to dip in Delhi-NCR.— ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2022
Air Quality Index (AQI) presently at 562 in Noida (UP) in 'Severe' category, 539 in Gurugram (Haryana) in 'Severe' category 563 near Delhi University in 'Severe' category
Delhi's overall AQI currently in 'Severe' category at 472 pic.twitter.com/UTYhhj5kQx
The national capital remained shrouded in smog
As a thick layer of haze covers the Delhi sky, the national capital reels under 'Severe' air quality with Air Quality Index (AQI) at 472 currently.— ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2022
(Visuals from Anand Vihar) pic.twitter.com/uhT3FyxsAl
SC to hear plea on measures to curb air pollution
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to hear a plea next Thursday seeking steps to control air pollution in NCR. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) called for a series of restrictions under Category 4, which is the final stage of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). It includes banning the entry of diesel trucks and the use of older private diesel vehicles.