Schools shut as air quality in Delhi worsens

Schools shut as air quality in Delhi worsens

With Delhi turning into a "gas chamber", the Delhi government on Tuesday decided to shut schools up to Class V for a day, while advising people to avoid to stay away from outdoor activities during early morning and evening hours.

The capital may see a four-fold increase in parking fees and a slash in Delhi Metro fares for sometime, with the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), recommending such measures.

The government also said it is not averse to actions like banning entry of trucks, ban on construction and odd-even scheme for vehicular movement, if the situation in the capital turns adverse.

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said he had no problems in approving the Delhi government's plan of sprinkling water through a helicopter, if the state thought it was the most cost-effective measure to control dust.

Earlier, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain claimed he had written to Vardhan seeking his permission for the ambitious plan.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the city a "gas chamber", as smog settled in, reducing visibility and leaving several people with smarting eyes and irritation in the throat.

After a meeting chaired by Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said a decision on extending the closure of schools would be taken on Wednesday. The government directed all schools to stop outdoor activities for all students.

An advisory has also been issued to all morning walkers, high-risk groups like small children, elderly, pregnant women, asthma patients and cardiac patients to stay away from outdoor activities during early morning and evening hours.


The government has also advised citizens to not to burn dry leaves, crop residue, wood and coal. Use of car pooling and public transport has been advised to the people apart from other measures to be taken, an official statement said.

 

 

 

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