Beginning with Monday, all schools in Delhi will remain closed for a week owing to air pollution in the national capital nearing an emergency level. However, the schools will continue to function in the online mode.
This was one of the four major decisions taken at an emergency meeting called by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
He said the school closure decision was essential to prevent children from inhaling polluted air.
Kejriwal further announced, “All the offices of the Delhi government will operate in the work-from-home mode (WFH) for a week. An advisory will be issued for private offices too to go back to the WFH mode as much as possible.”
The third decision the Chief Minister announced was that construction activity will remain banned all over the city from 14 to 17 November.
The government will soon present a proposal to the Supreme Court for a lockdown in the city in view of the alarming situation caused by severe air pollution. At this stage, the government is working on the proposal and will consult the Central government in this regard before taking it to the apex court, Kejriwal added.
The Chief Minister called an emergency meeting on Saturday evening to find a way to effectively tackle the worsening air pollution in the national capital.
The decision for the meeting was taken following the Supreme Court asking for “some urgent measures” to be taken to effectively handle the severe air pollution crisis in the city.
The apex court said, “Can you think of two days’ lockdown or something? How can people live?”
The court also asked the Delhi government about its plan for installing smog towers and other emission control projects.
Referring to the Delhi government, the court said, “This is not the Centre’s but your jurisdiction. What is happening on that front?”
The AQI (air quality index) today reached 500, showing that the city’s air quality has come down to a severe category.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Environment Minister Gopal Rai, and Chief Secretary Rajiv Gauba were among those who attended the meeting, according to sources in the Delhi government.