1,800 schools shut as heavy smog chokes Delhi
In view of the heavy smog, schools running under the three municipal corporations of Delhi have been ordered to be closed today. Authorities have taken the decision to close around 1,800 school as the national capital grapples with some of the worst pollution in 17 years.
“All municipal schools under the three corporations will be closed tomorrow due to the heavy smog and pollution. The order for closure is only for a day as of now. As per the situation, we may decide to close them later as well,” Leader of Opposition in SDMC, Subhash Arya said.
According to media reports, around 10 lakh students are enrolled in the schools administered by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).
“The decision was taken today at a meeting held in the wake of severe pollution Delhiites are reeling under. And, since the smog is worse during the morning, it was decided to close the schools,” said Arya, who is also a former Mayor of south Delhi, reported PTI.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Friday said the national capital is facing the worst smog in 17 years. It also asked the Delhi government to issue health alerts and convey that children should stay indoors as there is a state of health emergency due to peaking air pollution.
Peak level of respirable pollutants PM 2.5 and PM10 had also violated the safe limits by over 15 times at places like R K Puram. The prescribed standard of PM 2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic metre, but it touched 955 in real-time during early morning hours.
Admitting that the enforcement of rules for tackling air pollution was “weak”, the Environment Ministry today asked states to “strictly” implement a host of measures, including checking spread of fly ash from Delhi’s Badarpur plant and shutting down of old brick kilns.