New Delhi schools, gov't offices shut for one week due to air pollution

Published November 15, 2021, 10:50 AM

by Xinhua

NEW DELHI, India — All schools will be shut in the Indian capital New Delhi for a week in the wake of current “Severe” levels of air pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday.

Vehicles and people move on a street in smog as air quality worsens in the Indian capital of New Delhi, Nov. 9, 2021. (Xinhua)

The schools will remain closed with effect from Monday, he told reporters following an emergency meeting with top officials, adding that government officials will be working from home for a week, and private offices were also advised to follow suit.

The chief minister said his government was working on a proposal for lockdown in New Delhi. “(I) Will present the plan to the Supreme Court,” Kejriwal said.

Construction activities will be prohibited in the capital city on Nov. 14-17, the chief minister said.

According to him, the pollution level was rising in New Delhi “due to stubble burning in neighboring states” and called upon all stakeholders to work together to combat it.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Friday advised government and private offices in New Delhi to cut down their vehicular usage by at least 30 percent. The CPCB issued an advisory urging people to limit their outdoor activities and minimize their exposure to the air in the city.

New Delhi recorded its worst air quality index (AQI) level this season on Friday with a 24-hour average of 471, according to media reports.

The AQI in the capital remained in the “Severe” category on Saturday morning, with the AQI being recorded at 473.