The Delhi government may shut down schools in the city for the 15 days it tries out its odd-even car formula to fight rising pollution — a period during which 2,000 school buses will be added to the public transport fleet to help vehicle-owners cope.
“We have received a proposal to shut schools (between January 1 and 15). We are considering it and if needed, the government will announce holidays for all schools,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday.
The 15-day break is not expected to affect studies with a senior government official pointing out that government and private schools here usually break for winter from the last week of December to the first week of January.
The Delhi had announced on Thursday that it would double the number of buses on city roads to 12,000 during the 15-day test period, with 2,000 of the extra buses coming from various schools.
Calling children the biggest victims of pollution, Sisodia also asked school principals and teachers to make students aware of the sudden spike in pollution levels. “Children are the biggest stakeholders as 26 lakh students are studying in schools and the policy of odd-even formula will be made with their involvement,” he said.
Directing the Delhi government to take “adequate measures to prevent air pollution in schools”, the national green tribunal, on its part, asked it to submit a proposal for “creating green belts, covering the ground with grass and installing air filters in schools”.