New Delhi [India], November 7 (ANI): Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said that all primary schools would remain closed on November 8 in the wake of alarming levels of pollution in the national capital region.
The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
"All primary schools will remain closed tomorrow. If needed, we will extend the order till day after," Sisodia said, while addressing the media, here.
He further said that outdoor activities including assemblies should be avoided in schools.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister, Minister of Health, Minister of Environment, Chief Secretary and other senior officials of the health, environment and education department.
"The decision on further running of classes in Delhi schools after tomorrow will be taken after reviewing the situation tomorrow. Decision for Thursday would be taken looking at the parameters. We are keeping a very close eye and monitoring the situation 24*7," Sisodia added.
The Deputy Chief Minister also said that if need arises and the situation goes worse, the government was ready to go ahead with measures for Graded Action Plan - Banning entry of trucks, ban on construction and Odd Even formula for vehicular movement.
An advisory has also been issued to all morning walkers, high risk groups like small children, elderly, pregnant women, asthma patients, cardiac patients etc to stay away from pollution/outdoor activities during early morning and evening hours, a statement by the state government said.
The government has also advised citizens to not to burn dry leaves, crop residue, wood, coal etc. Use of car pooling and public transport has been advised to the people apart from other measures to be taken, the statement added.
Earlier in the day, the Deputy Chief Minister called upon the Centre for its intervention to tackle the pollution menace.
"Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written letters to the Central Government in August seeking its intervention. He wrote that this problem would again prevail in November. But the Centre didn't respond. We are requesting the Central Government to take some action. The reason for smog is the burning of stubble in Haryana and Punjab. Until the Central Government does not make policies together with Delhi, nothing will happen in Haryana and Punjab," he told the media.
He further said that they sought a report from the Pollution and Health department on the smog and its density.
The national capital on Tuesday woke up to 'severe' air quality due to a thick blanket of smog.
The rapid fall in air quality and visibility began last evening as moisture combined with pollutants shrouded the city in a thick cover of haze.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) by 10 a.m. recorded 'severe' air quality, meaning the intensity of pollution was extreme.
A 'severe' Air Quality Index comes with the warning that air affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing respiratory or cardiovascular diseases. (ANI)