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Schools In New Delhi To Shut Down For A Week Due To High Levels Of Air Pollution

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at November 13, 2021

Topline

Schools in New Delhi have been instructed to close for a week due to high levels of air pollution that have blanketed the Indian capital, the city’s chief minister said Saturday, as the megacity considers imposing a complete lockdown.

Key Facts

Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of Delhi, said the decision to shut down schools starting Monday was made so that “children don’t have to breathe polluted air,” according to Reuters.

Construction sites have also been ordered to close for four days starting Sunday.

Government officials will work from home and private businesses are encouraged to do the same to reduce vehicle emissions, he added.

The concentration of fine particulates in the air in Delhi that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers exceeded 300 micrograms per cubic meter of air Saturday, which is 20 times the World Health Organization’s recommended daily maximum, the AFP reported.

Delhi struggles with high levels of pollution every winter due to crop stubble burning in neighboring states, vehicle emissions and coal-fired power plants.

Big Number

1.67 million. That’s how many people in India died due to toxic air in 2019, the Lancet said. That figure accounted for nearly one in five deaths in that country and rose from 1.24 million deaths in 2017.

Key Background

At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged for the first time that India will become carbon neutral by 2070. India emits the third-largest amount of carbon dioxide in the world after China and the U.S.

Further Reading

New Delhi to shut schools, construction sites as pollution worsens (Reuters)

Delhi shuts schools as pollution ’emergency’ looms (AFP)

COP26: India PM Narendra Modi pledges net zero by 2070 (BBC)

The Battle Over Fossil Fuels Intensifies In COP26’s Last Few Hours (Forbes)

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