The Delhi government has directed the schools in the capital to declare early winter break from November 9 to 19 amid severe air pollution being observed in the city. In an order dated November 8, the directorate of education has said that that “winter break for the session 2023-24 is ordered to be advanced so that schools can be totally closed and both children and teachers can stay at home.”
The order signed by the education director Himanshu Gupta says: “In wake of implementation of GRAP-4 measures due to Severe air quality prevailing in Delhi and seeing that no respite from such adverse weather conditions in near future is predicted by the IMD, the winter break for the session 2023-24 is ordered to be preponed so that schools can be totally closed and both children and teachers can stay at home. Accordingly, all schools shall observe winter break with effect from November 9 2023 to November 18 2023. Heads of school to convey this information to parents immediately.”
The order adds that the further orders in remaining portion of the winter will be issued in due course of time. “The order is issued in exercise of the power vested in the administrator section 43 of DSEAR act delegated to the director education,” it adds.
Delhi’s air quality index was in severe category on Wednesday with an air quality index of 425 being recorded at 1 pm by the Central Pollution Control Board. After recording five consecutive ‘severe’ air days, Delhi’s air quality returned to the ‘very poor’ category on Tuesday and dipped back to Severe category on Tuesday night.
Data from the Decision Support System (DSS) shows an estimated contribution of stubble burning to Delhi to be around 33.07% on Wednesday down from 37.8% on Tuesday. Delhi’s transport sector was the next biggest contributor, with an estimated share of 12.64% in Delhi’s PM 2.5 concentration. The biggest pollutants in Delhi’s air continue to be PM2.5 and PM10.
Forecasts by the Early Warning System (EWS) for Delhi, shows AQI is likely to improve back down to ‘very poor’ on Thursday, due to the impact of much stronger winds, all the way till Saturday. The IMD has also said there is a possibility of Delhi recording a drizzle on November 10.