The Delhi government on Friday ordered schools in the national capital to remain closed as air pollution levels kept increasing.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a tweet that the government has decided to keep all schools in Delhi closed till November 5 as pollution levels to skyrocket.All construction activity has also been banned in the national capital till November 5.
Earlier in the morning, Kejriwal has hit out at Punjab and Haryana governments for severe pollution in Delhi. “Delhi has turned into a gas chamber due to smoke from crop burning in neighbouring states. It is very important that we protect ourselves from this toxic air,” he said.
The Delhi chief minister also asked schoolchildren to write a letter to Punjab and Haryana chief ministers, requesting them to stop their farmers from burning crop residue.
A public health emergency has also been declared in Delhi as air quality levels deteriorated to the ‘severe plus’ category on Friday. A Supreme Court-mandated panel on Friday declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region and banned construction activity till November 5.
As the pollution level in the region entered the “severe plus” category, the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority also banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season.
The air quality in Delhi-NCR deteriorated further Thursday night and is now at the severe plus level, EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal said in a letter to the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
“We have to take this as a public health emergency as air pollution will have an adverse health impact on all, particularly our children,” he said in the letter.