Anti-pollution curbs: Arvind Kejriwal announces closure of Delhi primary classes from November 5
The Delhi government has decided to close primary schools from Saturday while directing 50 per cent government employees to work from home in view of a spike in pollution levels in the national capital.
Announcing the decision on primary schools, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told the media that deteriorating air quality and pollution levels were a problem of entire north India and the Centre should take steps to address it.
"This is not the time for blame games and politics, but time to find a solution to the problem. Blaming Kejriwal or the Punjab government won't help," he asserted, reports PTI.
Later, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai announced that 50 per cent of Delhi government officers would be working from home. "Fifty per cent of Delhi government staff will work from home. Private offices are also advised to follow suit," he told the media, according to television news channels.
The city continued to reel under the eye-stinging pollution with air quality recorded in the ''severe'' category even on Friday.
Kejriwal announced that from Saturday onwards, classes up to fifth standard will be closed and outdoor activities for classes above fifth standard will be suspended.
"We are also mulling over implementing the odd-even scheme for plying of vehicles," he said.
The chief minister was joined by his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann.
Kejriwal accepted that the stubble burning happening in Punjab was his party's responsibility since its government is there.
"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," Kejriwal said.
Mann concurred with him and said there was bumper paddy crop, which resulted in a huge amount of stubble.
"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," he stressed.