Schools in Delhi will be shut from tomorrow till further orders over air crisis, state Environment Minister Gopal Rai announced today, shortly after a rap from the Supreme Court.
“We had reopened schools considering the forecast that air quality would improve. However, the air pollution levels have increased again and we have decided to shut schools from Friday till further orders,” Gopal Rai said.
Warning of a strict action, the Supreme Court gave a 24-hour ultimatum to Centre, Delhi, and neighboring states to act against industrial and vehicular pollution – counted as the main causes behind the deteriorating air quality.
Chiding the Arvind Kejriwal government over the reopening of the schools, the top court said that “three-year-olds and four-year-olds are going to schools but adults are working from home”. “We will appoint somebody to administer your government,” Chief Justice NV Ramana said.
After remaining shut since November 13, physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions had resumed from Monday.
Delhi’s air quality worsened sharply last month after Diwali. Farm fires were also cited as a source – but that led to debates and blame games. A month on, the city is still gasping for air.
A ban on all construction activities in the national capital is in place till further orders.