Early Winter Break In Delhi Schools As Air Quality Turns ‘Severe’ Again

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Wednesday rescheduled the December winter break of all schools and said it will be now from November 9-18 as the air pollution in the national capital continues to remain in the ‘severe’ category. Earlier, due to the deteriorating air quality, holidays were announced from November 3 to November 10.

“In the wake of implementation of GRAP-IV measures due to Severe Air Quality prevailing in Delhi and seeing that no respite from such adverse weather conditions in near future is predicted by the IMO, the Winter Break for the session 2023-24 is ordered to be preponed so that schools can be totally closed and both children and teachers can stay at home,” the official circular stated.

“Accordingly, all schools shall observe Winter Break wef. 09th November 2023 (tomorrow) to 18th November 2023 (Saturday),” it added.

The air quality in Delhi and its suburbs dropped to the severe category again on Wednesday morning, with smoke from post-harvest paddy straw burning in neighbouring states accounting for one-third of the air pollution in the national capital. The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 421, worsening from 395 at 4pm on Tuesday.

Despite a marginal dip, the concentration of PM2.5, fine particulate matter capable of penetrating deep into the respiratory system and triggering health problems, exceeded the government-prescribed safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre by seven to eight times in the capital.

It was 30 to 40 times the healthy limit of 15 micrograms per cubic metre set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Several cities across the Indo-Gangetic plains reported hazardous air quality. Neighbouring Ghaziabad (382), Gurugram (370), Noida (348), Greater Noida (474), and Faridabad (396) also reported hazardous air quality.

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