Legal Nation

Delhi’s air quality in ‘very poor’ category; schools shut, WFH in govt offices to check rising pollution

New Delhi: A day after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced several steps to check the air pollution in Delhi, the national capital’s air quality index (AQI) was recorded in the ‘very poor’ category on Sunday (November 14, 2021) morning.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the national capital’s overall AQI at 7 AM was at 386.

However, in some areas, the air quality continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category. While Delhi University’s North Campus area recorded an AQI of 419, the Mathura road reported an AQI of 417.

Pusa road reported an AQI of 383 and IIT Delhi of 356.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

Earlier on Saturday, CM Kejriwal had announced that the schools in Delhi will be closed for a week and construction sites for four days.

“For a week from Monday onwards, schools will be physically closed but will continue virtually so that children don’t have to breathe polluted air … construction activities not to be allowed,” Kejriwal had said.

He had added that all government offices would shift to work from home, while private offices would be advised to do the same for a week to reduce the number of polluting vehicles on the road.

Kejriwal had said that talks on a potential complete lockdown in the capital were also underway, but any decision would only be taken after consultation with the central government.

The chief justice of India on Saturday had also called the situation ‘very serious’ and had asked the central government to come up with an emergency plan to tackle the dangerous smog.

“We have been forced to wear masks at home also, the situation is very serious,” said CJI NV Ramana, while hearing a plea filed by a student over the worsening air quality.

Ramana had said that the government should consider a two-day lockdown to protect citizens and inform the court on Monday about emergency steps to improve air quality.