In response to a persistent decline in air quality over the past week, the Delhi government has announced an early winter break for schools. The vacation will run from November 9 to 18, effectively rescheduling the usual December winter break. The Delhi education department issued a notice, stating, “In view of air pollution, the December winter break of all schools has been rescheduled to be from November 9 to 18.”
All schools are required to observe the winter break during this period, starting from November 9, 2023 (tomorrow) and ending on November 18, 2023 (Saturday). The heads of schools are tasked with promptly conveying this information to parents. Further instructions regarding the remainder of the winter break will be provided in due course.
Earlier this week, the Delhi government had already suspended physical classes for all students up to class 9. This decision was made in accordance with the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) Stage 4, which was imposed by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CQAM) due to the escalating levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
The air quality in the national capital and its surrounding areas had deteriorated to the severe category once again on Wednesday, primarily due to the smoke generated by post-harvest paddy straw burning in neighboring states. As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 421, a significant deterioration from the 395 AQI recorded on Tuesday at 4 pm.
This worsening air quality had led to several residents and commuters experiencing respiratory issues, prompting calls for the Delhi government and relevant authorities to take swift measures to address the escalating air pollution crisis.