Primary schools in Delhi will be closed from tomorrow, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Friday as air pollution in the city worsened.
Delhi’s Air Quality Index continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category for a second consecutive day on Friday, as per data released by SAFAR or System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.
Addressing a press conference with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Mr Kejriwal said primary schools will be closed from tomorrow and outdoor activities for classes V to VII will be restricted until air quality in the city improves.
“Primary classes to be closed from Saturday in Delhi; contemplating on having odd even scheme,” Mr Kejriwal said. “We are closing outdoor sports activities for class V-VIII students in schools.”
“This is not the time for blame game and politics, but time to find a solution to the problem. Blaming Kejriwal or the Punjab government won’t help,” Mr Kejriwal said as quoted by news agency PTI.
Official data on Friday revealed that stubble burning in Punjab contributed 34 per cent to Delhi’s PM 2.5 pollution.
“Since our government is in Punjab, we are responsible for the stubble burning. It has been only six months since we formed the government there and there were issues that were being addressed. We are finding solutions. Give us a year’s time to address the issue,” Mr Kejriwal said.
Concurring Mr Kejriwal’s comments, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said bumper paddy harvest has resulted in increased stubble burning. However, he assured that steps are being taken to reduce the burning.
“We are taking steps like there are 1.20 lakh machines to bury stubble. Panchayats have also passed resolutions to stop stubble burning. We promise by November next year, stubble burning will reduce,” Mr Mann said.
Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai will address a press conference today at 1 pm.