Delhi News: Primary schools in Delhi will be closed until November 10 due to the city’s persistently high pollution levels, announced Delhi Education Minister Atishi on Saturday. Schools have the option to switch to online instruction for classes 6 through 12.
School Closure Announcement
“As pollution levels continue to remain high, primary schools in Delhi will stay closed till 10th November. For Grade 6-12, schools are being given the option of shifting to online classes,” she announced on social media X. The declaration was made as the capital’s pollution levels once again surpassed the “severe plus” threshold because of unfavourable wind patterns, especially calm nighttime winds, according to news agency PTI. On Sunday, Delhi was covered in a poisonous haze for the sixth day in a row.
Air Quality Index Decline
From 415 at 4 p.m. on Saturday to 460 at 7 a.m. on Sunday, the air quality index declined. Throughout accordance with the Center’s air pollution management plan, if the AQI exceeds 450, all emergency measures, including as a prohibition on commercial four-wheelers, polluting trucks, and all forms of construction, must be implemented and enforced throughout the National Capital Region.
Alarming PM2.5 Levels
At several areas across Delhi-NCR, the concentration of PM2.5, a fine particulate matter that can enter the respiratory system deeply and cause health issues, was seven to eight times higher than the government-mandated safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre. It was 80–100 times higher than the WHO-established safe threshold of 5 micrograms per cubic metre. Over the past week, Delhi-NCR’s air quality has gotten worse because to a steady drop in temperature, calm breezes that trap pollution, and an increase in the burning of post-harvest paddy straw throughout Punjab and Haryana.
Air Quality Crisis Across NCR
The Central Pollution Control Board’s data indicates that between October 27 and November 3, Delhi’s air quality index rose by more than 200 points, reaching a low point of’severe plus’ (over 450) on Friday. The 24-hour average AQI on Friday, 468, was the lowest since November 12, 2021, when it reached its previous high of 471. Hazardous air quality was also reported for the nearby cities of Ghaziabad (410), Gurugram (441), Noida (436), Greater Noida (467), and Faridabad (461).