The government of Delhi has issued an order to all the schools in the capital to declare early winter break amid severe air pollution in the city. The break has been advanced and will now be starting from November 9 to 19. In an order dated November 8, the directorate of education has said that, "winter break for the session 2023-24 is ordered to be advanced so that schools can be totally closed and both children and teachers can stay at home."
The order was signed by education director Himanshu Gupta read, "In wake of implementation of GRAP-4 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 IMD, 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. Accordingly, all schools shall observe winter break with effect from November 9 2023 to November 18 2023. Head of schools to convey this information to parents immediately."
The order also mentions that the remaining portions of the break will be granted in the coming time. "The order is issued in exercise of the power vested in the administrator section 43 of DSEAR act delegated to the director education," it adds.
According to the data from Decision Support System (DSS), stubble burning is the major factor contributing to the pollution. Delhi’s transport sector was the next biggest contributor, with an estimated share of 12.64%.
Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) has been consistently in the severe category for five days. On Wednesday, the AQI shot up to 425 at 1 pm as recorded by the Central Pollution Control Board. Even though the quality returned to ‘very poor’ on Tuesday, it again sharply went down to the severe category on Tuesday night itself.
The Coming Days
Estimated forecasts suggest that AQI is likely to come down to ‘very poor’ category on Thursday till Saturday because of the impact of strong winds in the city. IMD also suggests a possibility of drizzle in the city on November 10.