The Delhi government on Friday announced that all schools in the Capital would be closed till November 5 due to public health emergency declared by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority as pollution had reached intolerable levels in the Capital making it a “gas chamber”.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the decision on Twitter.
“Due to the rising level of smoke in Delhi due to burning of crop stubble, the pollution has increased. The government has decided that all schools will remain closed in Delhi till November 5,” the Mr. Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
The Chief Minister also said that he had a meeting with the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) chief Bhure Lal and has assured him all cooperation in ensuring that the Graded Action Response Plan (GRAP) and all other measures to deal with the increasing pollution would be implemented.
The EPCA on Friday said that pollution in Delhi had increased from “severe” to “severe plus” category and required emergency measures as it posed a helth risk. It said that children were particularly vulnerable in such a situation.
Kejriwal distributes masks to schoolchildren
Earlier in the day, Mr. Kejriwal distributed masks to school children as part of the government’s initiative to protect them from pollution and also explained children about stubble burning.
The Delhi government has procured 50 lakh N95 masks for distribution among children in private and government schools.
Claiming that the smoke emanating from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana causes pollution in Delhi, Mr. Kejriwal urged students to write to the Chief Ministers of these States.
“Please write letters to Captain uncle and Khattar uncle and say, ‘Please think about our health’,” he told children.
The chief minister also urged students to help in stopping garbage burning in the national capital.
“We have to stop garbage burning in Delhi. If you see anyone doing so, request them to not do it. If they do not listen, there is a WhatsApp number to report it,” he said.