With the Capital continuing to choke from ‘severe’ air pollution, the Delhi government on Friday announced that primary schools will remain shut from Saturday and 50% of its employees will work from home. Private offices have been advised to follow suit.
“Primary schools will be closed from tomorrow [Saturday] in Delhi. We are thinking about implementing odd-even too. Outdoor activities of fifth grade and above [students] will be stopped,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
A day after the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas directed the State governments to implement a ban on the entry of trucks into the national capital and other measures to control air pollution, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said Delhi government offices have been asked to ensure 50% attendance, with the other half of the workforce being asked to work from home.
Delhi’s air quality remained ‘severe’ for the second consecutive day on Friday, with stubble burning accounting for 30% of the PM2.5 pollution in the city, according to the Central Pollution Control Board and SAFAR, a forecasting agency under the Ministry of Earth and Sciences. The 24-hour average air quality index of Delhi stood at 447 at 2 p.m.
On Wednesday, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had asked the Delhi government to consider closing schools in view of increasing pollution.
In Noida and Greater Noida, all schools were asked to hold classes online for students up to Class VIII till November 8, according to an official order issued on Thursday.
(With inputs from PTI)