In response to escalating pollution levels in Delhi, Education Minister Atishi declared the closure of all primary schools in the national capital until November 10. Concurrently, schools teaching classes 6 to 12 have the flexibility to conduct online sessions.
The persistent toxic haze in Delhi persisted for the sixth consecutive day, reaching severe plus category pollution due to unfavorable wind conditions, notably calm nighttime winds.
The air quality index worsened from 415 on Saturday at 4 pm to 460 on Sunday at 7 am.
Earlier, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced the closure of all government and private primary schools in Delhi on November 3 and November 4 due to the rising pollution levels.
Per the government’s air pollution control plan, emergency measures such as banning polluting trucks, commercial four-wheelers, and all construction are mandated if the AQI crosses the 450-mark in the National Capital Region.
PM2.5 levels, harmful fine particulate matter, were seven to eight times higher than the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter at various locations throughout Delhi-NCR. This figure far exceeds the healthy limit of 5 micrograms per cubic meter set by the WHO.
The air quality in Delhi-NCR deteriorated in the past week due to decreasing temperatures, stagnant winds that trap pollution, and an increase in post-harvest paddy straw burning across Punjab and Haryana.