Delhi schools are closed today as the city faces severe pollution
Around 1,800 primary schools in New Delhi have been ordered to shut down for today as the national capital deals with the worst pollution in recent years.
The decision has affected around 9 lakh children studying at schools which are run by the municipality in a city. The city is under the influence of smog post- Diwali celebrations
According to data from the city’s pollution monitoring agency, concentrations of Particulate Matter or PM 10 coarser pollutants was arrested 1,200 micrograms per cubic metre early this morning in contrast to a safe level of 100 at 9 am in Delhi’s Anand Vihar.
PM 2.5, which is a standard measure of air quality, was as much as 13 times safer than the limit.
These harmful particles can result in causing respiratory diseases if one is subjected to prolonged exposure to unsafe levels.
“It has been decided to keep the municipal schools shut on Saturday because of increasing smog in Delhi. The schools will work as normal from Monday,” Yogendra Mann, spokesman, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, said.
National Capital’s air quality has continuously worsened over the past years; it is a consequence of rapid urbanization which brings pollution from diesel engines, coal-fired power plants, and industrial areas.
It also suffers from the atmospheric dust, burning of crop stubble in farms around the city and pollution from open fires lit by the urban poor to keep warm in winter or to cook food.
Cause of the Smog
The recent crisis began in the aftermath of the Diwali celebrations last Sunday night when millions of firecrackers were set off, leaving the city enrolled in smog overnight.
On Friday, the environment ministry had called a meeting with the officials of neighbouring states to discuss ways to combat pollution.
Earlier, a report released by UNICEF on Monday had stated that around 6 lakh children under age 5 die every year – more than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined – from diseases caused by or exacerbated by pollution, either outside or inside.