New Delhi on Saturday ordered the closure of schools for a week, due to air pollution that has reached alarming levels in recent days.
• Read also: COP26: Tough Last Minute Negotiations
“From Monday, schools will be closed so that children do not have to breathe polluted air,” Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal told reporters.
Civil servants must work remotely, and private companies have been urged to do so as much as possible.
Construction will be halted for four days, starting on Sunday, to stop polluting emissions from outdoor sites.
Pollution levels in New Delhi were also in the “severe” area on Friday, prompting the Central Pollution Control Board to issue an imminent health warning.
The burning of agricultural waste continued in the states bordering New Delhi despite a ban by the Supreme Court.
Tens of thousands of farmers around the capital burn their leftovers – or crop residue – at the start of each winter, clearing fields from their recently harvested paddy fields to make way for wheat. According to government data, the number of farm fires this season was the highest in the past four years.
Earlier this year, the New Delhi government unveiled its first giant air purifier with 40 fans that pump 1,000 cubic meters of air per second through filters.
Engineers say the $2 million facility cuts the amount of harmful particles in the air in half, but only within a square kilometer radius.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”