New Delhi: All schools in Delhi to be closed from tomorrow till further orders, due to current air pollution levels in the city, Environment Minister Gopal Rai informed on Thursday. This comes after the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government over its decision to resume physical classes for children amid deteriorating air quality.Also Read - Over Half of Delhi Citizens Want Weekend Curfew to Continue, Reveals Survey
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked ‘why children are being forced to go to school when work from home has been implemented for adults?’ The top court also asserted that the city has not witnessed any significant improvement in air quality over the past few weeks. “We feel there is nothing happening, in spite of air pollution levels rising”, the court observed. Also Read - Delhi Draft Motor Policy: Cab Fare During Surge Pricing To Be Capped
It also pulled up the Centre and gave it a 24-hour deadline to come up with a serious plan for the implementation of air pollution control measures. “We cannot enforce or infuse creativity in your bureaucracy, you have to come up with some steps”, SC told the Centre after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that industries found non-compliant were closed and State govt were intimated. Also Read - Delhi CM Kejriwal Hints at Easing COVID Curbs as Positivity Rate Likely to Drop at 10%. Read Full Statement
In the middle of November, the Delhi government announced the closure of physical classes and asked offices to work from home. Construction activities were also suspended. After being shut for a brief period, schools resumed physical classes from November 29, as the air quality saw a little improvement in between.
The pollution levels in Delhi worsened on Thursday as air quality went into the severe category from Wednesday’s ‘very poor’. According to the Central Pollution Control Board’ (CPCB) website, the hourly air quality index (AQI)) of Delhi stood at 416 at 7 am on Thursday. The average 24-hour AQI of the city on Wednesday was 370.