Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai said all schools in Delhi would be closed from Friday till further notice, due to air pollution in the city.
The Delhi government’s announcement on Thursday came
just hours after a Supreme Court bench, comprising CJI NV Ramana, justices DY
Chandrachud and Surya Kant, pulled up the Delhi government for opening schools
while pollution in the national capital remains in the “very poor”
The Supreme Court asked why children were being forced to go to
school when work from home had been implemented for adults.
Censuring the Arvind Kejriwal government over
the reopening of the schools, the apex court said that “you have implemented
work from home for adults. So, parents work from home and children have to go
to school. What is this?”
“We are serious about industrial and
vehicular pollution. You cannot fire bullets from our shoulders, you have to
take steps. Why are schools open,” the Supreme Court asked, reported ANI.
The Chief Justice said, “We are
concerned with the implementation of our orders…we do not want
In the wake of the SC’s observation, the
Delhi government has suspended physical classes in schools when the pollution
level in the city reached its peak. From November 29, physical classes have
resumed with many schools holding term-end exams.
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Senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi,
appearing for the Delhi government, responded, “On schools, there is a lot
of debate on ‘learning loss’. We reopened with the option for online.”
The pollution levels in Delhi worsened on
Thursday as air quality went into the severe category from Wednesday’s
“very poor”. According to the Central Pollution Control Board’ (CPCB)
website, the hourly air quality index (AQI)) of Delhi stood at 416 at 7 am on
Thursday. The average 24-hour AQI of the city on Wednesday was 370.