New Delhi, With the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) on Friday declaring an air emergency in the Delhi-NCR amid deteriorating pollution levels, the state government has ordered all schools to remain shut till November 5.
Announcing the decision on Friday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “Pollution in Delhi has reached high levels due to parali smoke. So the government has decided to close all schools in Delhi till November 5.”
The Supreme Court appointed panel declared a public health emergency after air quality in the NCR region dipped to 410 on October 31. AQI of 400 is deemed as “severe” and Delhi’s AQI has been in the severe category for five consecutive days now.
Announcing the emergency, the EPCA also banned construction work activity till November 5.
According to the US Embassy here, PM 2.5 level at 1 p.m. on Friday was 450. The US Embassy does not have a reading from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., because probably the PM 2.5 went beyond 500, which they don’t measure. Values above 500 are considered Beyond the AQI.
While various directions are being given to curb air pollution, the weather conditions will matter more and a western disturbance around Sunday will cause dispersion of pollutants, which have accumulated.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in a recent review had pulled up implementing agencies for “sub optimal” performance on addressing pollution complaints.
According to Safar India, the PM 10 count, which was earlier in “very poor” category, at 555 is now in “severe” category. The PM 2.5 at 383 continues to be in the “severe” category.