Schools in Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonipat and Jhajjar to be closed till November 17 owing to pollution
A day after Delhi announced the suspension of physical classes in schools from November 15, Haryana too decided to close schools in four districts falling in the National Capital Region.
The Haryana government has decided to shut all schools in Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonipat and Jhajjar till November 17 amid increasing pollution levels in Delhi-NCR. The order comes into force with immediate effect and shall remain operational till November 17, the government said. The decision comes a day after Delhi decided to suspend physical classes for a week starting from November 15 to shield the children from the adverse impact of the pollution.
Apart from closing schools, the Delhi government has asked government departments to switch to 100% work from home and urged the private offices to work from home as much as possible for a week.
The Haryana government has also advised all government and private offices to switch to work from home so that at least vehicles plying on roads can be reduced by 30%. The government has also put a complete ban on all types of construction and development activities in these four districts, where the pollution situation is nearly as hazardous as Delhi. "No trash burning by Municipal bodies will be allowed and stubble burning will be prohibited. No manual sweeping of roads will e allowed," reads the order.
The pollution situation in Delhi and surrounding areas including Gurugram worsened in the last few days with the Air Quality Index reaching 471 on Friday, the worst of this season. The Supreme Court on Saturday expressed concern over the situation and said people are wearing masks even inside their houses. Drawing attention to the suffering of the children who have started attending physical classes after a long gap owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the apex court nudged the governments (Centre and state) to immediately draw up an action plan.
The AQI of Noida and Gurugram on Saturday was worse than Delhi as Noida recorded an AQI of 587 and Gurugram 557.
The AQI of Delhi-NCR is likely to improve within a few days as the calm weather has aggravated the pollution. Once the wind gathers velocity, the AQI level is expected to be better. According to the met department, an improvement in the condition is likely only after Wednesday.