Amid worsening air quality, Delhi govt shuts schools for a week

Government offices will all work from home, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said and added that an advisory is being prepared for private offices to try and work from home as far as possible.

Schools will remain closed for a week from Monday onwards, while construction activities will not be allowed from November 14 to 17, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday.

Government offices will all work from home, he said. Virtual classes at schools will continue, but physical classes will be stopped so that children do not have to step out and breathe in polluted air, Kejriwal said. The chief minister was speaking after a meeting called to discuss emergency measures to deal with the city’s worsening air quality.

“Between Nov 14 and 17, the weather forecast shows that smoke from stubble burning will continue and wind will be slow, and this could make the situation worse. During these days, construction activities will be stopped,” Kejriwal said. An advisory is being prepared for private offices to try and work from home as far as possible, he said.

“In the Supreme Court, there was a suggestion of a complete lockdown. We are still working out what the value of a lockdown will be. We are preparing a proposal to determine this and will only place it before the Supreme Court as a proposal. This will be an extreme step. We need to take the CPCB, SAFAR, and Union government into confidence, and will discuss with all agencies…if there is such a situation to stop all private vehicles, construction and industrial activities,” Kejriwal said.

“This is not the time to point fingers. Our aim is to reduce the pollution that has increased within the city and created an emergency situation,” Kejriwal said. Strict measures are a compulsion and necessary, he added.

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