Schools, Govt Offices Shut Down In Delhi, Noida Due To Pollution | Diesel Vehicles Banned

Owing to severe pollution primary schools in New Delhi have been shut as have outdoor activities for older children.

Schools, Govt Offices Shut Down In Delhi, Noida Due To Pollution | Diesel Vehicles Banned


Firms asked to go WFH

This all is because air in the nation’s capital has become a serious health hazard.

Meanwhile, half of Delhi govt staff have been sent to work from home.

Environment minister Gopal Rai said he has asked private firms to do the same.

Grim situation

The air quality index (AQI) topped 400 on Friday which put most districts of the capital territory in the “severe” or “hazardous” category.

In parts of the city, AQI levels of pollution crossed 450 mark..

Faridabad is by far the worst hit with AQI levels crossing the 470 mark in various parts.

Odd-even to be implemented?

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday, “In Delhi, primary schools will be closed tomorrow onwards till the situation improves. 

We are exploring the need of odd-even as well…. 

We are stopping outdoor activities for classes above 5th standard. 

Sports and outdoor activities will not be allowed.”

By “Odd-even” he is referring to curbs on private vehicles under which vehicles with even registration numbers are allowed on the roads on certain days of the week and those with odd ones on the remaining days.

Health risk for those in good health as well

The local authority in Noida on Thursday ordered all schools to shift to online classes for students up to Class VIII.

The Central Pollution Control Board warned that even healthy people can be affected along with those with existing health conditions who are at greater risk when the AQI rises past 400.

As of 4pm on Friday, Delhi’s average AQI was 447, rendering several skypapers invisible in the smog.

This is nothing new, since New Delhi has been the world’s most polluted capital for the past four years.

Yet another disruption for students 

School closures because of pollution levels are, at this point, pretty much an annual occurrence in Delhi.

This is the latest disruption to primary school education after schools in Delhi finally fully opened physically for students of all grades in April this year after a gap of over 2 years thanks to Covid.

Environment minister Rai said: “Only CNG, petrol and electric vehicles will be allowed to enter Delhi…. 

In addition, we will write letters to the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana urging them to ban entry into Delhi of any vehicles that are not connected to essential services.”

Not the time for politics or blame games

Kejriwal commented, “Pollution is not just Delhi’s but entire Northern India’s problem.

The Centre has to come forward and take specific steps so that the entire North India can be relieved from pollution. 

Air pollution is a North India problem. 

AAP, the Delhi government or the Punjab government are not solely responsible. 

Now is not the time for the blame game. 

There should not be politics over such a sensitive issue. 

I admit there is stubble burning in Punjab.”

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