Delhi's smog menace: South Delhi Municipal Corporation shuts 580 schools for entire week

07 November 2016, 02:56 PM
A students awaits his school bus with his father on a smoggy morning in Delhi. (Getty Images)
A students awaits his school bus with his father on a smoggy morning in Delhi. (Getty Images)

Nearly 580 schools under the south corporation will remain closed for the entire week, while those in the jurisdiction of north and east civic bodies will be shut till Wednesday in view of the alarming pollution levels in the national capital.

Over 17,000 schools running under the three municipal corporations of Delhi were closed on Saturday due to heavy smog that has already caused a spike in cases of asthma, allergy and breathlessness in the city, with doctors suggesting extra protection for children and the elderly.

All schools under the MCD are primary schools, which are run in morning and evening shifts. About 10 lakh students are enrolled in the schools run by by the three corporations.

Read: The great smog of Delhi: NGT slams govt for inaction; NDMC begins sprinkling water on roads

The Delhi government had on Sunday also ordered closure of all its schools till November 9.

"We have decided to keep our schools remain closed till November 12, as these are primary students. In the morning shift, the smog is severe. In the evening too the pollution level peaks, so, we have decided to keep it shut for extended period," an SDMC spokesperson said.

579 schools are run under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), about 740 under North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and the rest under East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).

Read: The great smog of Delhi: Capital’s air quality plunges to season’s worst

Sirifort area in south Delhi and Anand Vihar in east Delh, among other places, have lately registered high levels of pollution, both on PM 2.5 and PM 10 scales.

"We have ordered the schools to remain shut till November 9. We will assess the situation after that and take further decision accordingly," North Delhi mayor Sanjeev Nayyar said.

"Schools of East Delhi Municipal Corporation will also remain closed till November 9," an senior EDMC official said.

Besides, SDMC has also started a radio campaign to make people aware about issues related to pollution.

"Our radio campaign is running since Friday where the chairman of the SDMC's standing committee gives out a message to people to inform the civic body about any cases of leaf burning to our control room so that action can be taken," the senior SDMC official said.

Delhi is witnessing the worst situation due to smog in last 17 years, prompting Delhi government and the Centre to take immediate measures to curb the pollution.

Read: To curb smog, Gurugram bans burning of waste, garbage

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Sunday announced a raft of "emergency" measures to deal with the situation including ban on construction and demolition activities for next five days and temporary closure of Badarpur Power Plant in south Delhi.

"Use of diesel generators should be stopped, construction activities should be immediately halted and leaf-burning should not be allowed. Besides, children should be protected properly and extra caution should be taken for them," Nayyar said.

First Published: Monday, November 07, 2016 02:46 PM
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