New Delhi: As air quality on Wednesday deteriorated to 'severe' category in Delhi and its nearby areas, the state government announced the closure of schools for two days - November 14 and 15. Schools in Noida have also been shut due to spike in the pollution level.
Thick toxic haze shrouded the national capital on Wednesday with the air quality index (AQI) dipping to 453 in the 'severe' category. The AQI of Delhi was 416 at 10 am, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The AQI was also high in Ghaziabad (445), Noida and Greater Noida (436) and Faridabad (404).
Stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab is the primary cause of air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
The Environment Pollution Prevention And Control Authority (EPCA) in the evening demanded closure of schools in the national capital. The body also asked the coal and fuel-based indutries in Delhi-NCR and nearby areas not to operate till Friday, November 15.
Due to the spike in pollution, the Supreme Court on Wednesday censured the Centre for its inaction and sought remedial action. The apex court asked the central government to explore Hydrogen-based fuel technology to find solutions to combat air pollution. The Centre, in its reply, said that it is exploring the technology and is looking at methods using which Japan has tackled the pollution crisis by.
The top court also asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government to provide data on pollution levels in the national capital from the date on which the odd-even scheme commenced till November 14 and meanwhile ordered the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to submit data on the AQI from October 1 to December 31, 2018.