Delhi schools and colleges to reopen from November 29
Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions will reopen in Delhi from Monday, November 29, the city's Environment Minister Gopal Rai announced. A key review meeting to discuss the matter was held earlier in the day. The institutes were ordered shut on November 13 due to alarming levels of air pollution in the national capital. Here are more details on this.
Why does this story matter?
The Delhi government's decision indicates the city's pollution situation is finally improving. Delhi has been named the world's most polluted capital city for the past several years, raising concerns for its residents. During winter months, the city's air quality plunges to hazardous levels each year owing to the effect of stubble burning, emissions from transport, coal-fired power plants, and firecracker burning on Diwali.
Government offices will also reopen
Rai announced that government offices in the capital will also be reopened from Monday. Further, special shuttle buses will run from Delhi secretariat to nearby metro stations in an attempt to promote public transportation. The Delhi government had already lifted the ban on construction and demolition activities across the city citing an improvement in air quality.
Slight improvement in Delhi's air quality
Delhi's air quality has improved marginally over the past 10 days. It leveled up from the "very poor" to "poor" category on Wednesday, according to System of Air Quality & Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). Air quality in Delhi had dropped to "severe" soon after Diwali. Separately, a group of parents had also recently urged the Delhi government to reopen schools.
Look at the signal we are sending: Supreme Court
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court once again issued strong remarks on Delhi's air crisis. "This is the national capital. Look at the signal we are sending to the world," the court said on Wednesday. "Even if the pollution level goes down now, we will continue to hear this case and issue directions." The court has repeatedly slammed the Delhi and central governments over the issue.