Delhi Pollution: Due to the national capital’s continuing “severe” level of air pollution, the Delhi administration on Wednesday Prepones the December winter vacation for all schools, stating that it will now take place from November 9 to November 18. Previously, holidays were scheduled from November 3 to November 10 owing to the declining quality of the air.
GRAP-IV Measures in Response to Severe Air Quality
“In the wake of implementation of GRAP-IV measures due to Severe Air Quality prevailing in Delhi and seeing that no respite from such adverse weather conditions in near future is predicted by the IMO, the Winter Break for the session 2023-24 is ordered to be preponed so that schools can be totally closed and both children and teachers can stay at home,” the circular stated.
Winter Break Dates Announced
“Accordingly, all schools shall observe Winter Break wef. 09th November 2023 (tomorrow) to 18th November 2023 (Saturday),” it added. On Wednesday morning, the air quality in Delhi and its surrounding areas fell into the bad category once more. One-third of the air pollution in the national capital is caused by smoke from burning post-harvest paddy straw in adjacent states. The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) was 421 at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, down from 395 at that time.
Elevated PM2.5 Levels in Delhi
The amount of PM2.5, a type of small particulate matter that may enter the respiratory system deeply and cause health issues, was seven to eight times higher in the capital than the government-mandated safe level of 60 micrograms per cubic metre, even with a little decline. It was 30 to 40 times higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended safe threshold of 15 micrograms per cubic metre. Hazardous air quality was observed in a number of cities along the Indo-Gangetic plains. Hazardous air quality was also observed in nearby Ghaziabad (382), Gurugram (370), Noida (348), Greater Noida (474), and Faridabad (396).