Delhi schools, colleges to remain shut till Sunday as smog continues

he Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has ordered the schools and colleges in Delhi to remain shut till Sunday due to alarming levels of pollution.

The order in this regard was passed by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday.

“Delhi’s air quality is getting worse. In this situation, there can be no compromise on children’s health,” Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister, said in a tweet.

The directive came as the air quality in Delhi and NCR dropped to the “severe” level with an average range of dangerous PM2.5 particles measured at 475 micrograms per cubic meter in the region.

The “severe” level between 400 and 500 of PM2.5 “affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases”, according to Central Pollution Control Board.

The national capital and its adjoining suburbs were blanketed in a grey haze this morning.

With visibility dipping to 300 meters at some places, several trains were delayed and flight operations were hit.

Some 30 trains coming to Delhi and 30 flights landing or taking off from the Delhi airport were delayed, according to officials.

Concerned over the alarming air pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted: “Delhi has become a gas chamber. Every year this happens during this part of the year. We have to find a solution to crop burning in adjoining states.”

The average air quality index was 477 and the level of dangerous PM2.5 particles was “severe” at 475 microgrammes per cubic metre — about 19 times more than permissible globally.

The permissible range for PM2.5 is 60 as per Indian standards and 25 globally.

The “severe” level has prompted an advisory from the Ministry of Earth Science, cautioning against outdoor activities.

“Give a miss to walk today. Stop any activity level if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty or fatigue and consult doctor. Masks known as N-95 or P-100 respirators may only help if you go out,” advised SAFAR-India, the ministry-run air quality and weather forecasting research centre.

According to data from the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA), the air quality in Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad (Haryana) was just as bad, with the presence of PM 2.5 NCR pegged at 445 till 10 a.m.

The level of PM2.5 in Noida Sector 125 was especially steep (525). In Faridabad Sector 16, it was 452 by 10 am.

Source : Zee News dated 8th Nov 2017