Primary schools ordered shut in Indian capital due to air pollution

New Delhi, Nov 4 (EFE).- The authorities in the Indian capital of New Delhi ordered Friday the closure of primary schools in the city due to high levels of air pollution.

“We’re taking all steps to control the pollution situation. In lieu of that, we’re shutting down all primary schools in Delhi from tomorrow…. Also shutting down outdoor activities for all classes above class 5,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a press conference.

The Indian capital has been under blanket of smog, limiting visibility, while the Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 466 on a scale of a maximum 500 points.

According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee on Thursday, the concentration of PM2.5 particles – those with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns and very dangerous to health – exceeded 300 micrograms per cubic meter for the first time this year, which is several times above levels considered safe by the World Health Organization.

In view of the recent surge in air pollution in the city, the authorities had already imposed a temporary ban on construction activity and the movement of non-essential diesel commercial vehicles and heavy trucks.

The alarming deterioration in New Delhi’s air quality is common at this time of year, when a number of factors coincide, such as the arrival of winter and the decrease in wind velocity that prevent the dispersal of pollutants.

The toxic air comprises of vehicle emissions, building dust, particles originating from burning stubble in agricultural areas and the constant burning of solid waste in this city of 20 million inhabitants. EFE


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