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Schools Closed, WFH for Government Personnel: Kejriwal’s One-Week Action Plan Following Supreme Court Order

Schools Closed, WFH for Government Personnel: Kejriwal’s One-Week Action Plan Following Supreme Court Order

No physical classes will be held in Delhi schools from Monday for a week, Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday, after the Supreme Court pressed the emergency button on air pollution in Delhi. As immediate measures to save people from the adverse impact of air pollution, the government has decided to switch to working from home for 100% of the workforce as of Monday. Private offices will be advised to opt for the ‘Work from home’ option as much as possible, Kejriwal said. No construction activity will be allowed between November 14-17.

Kejriwal’s action plan comes as the Supreme Court on Saturday called the pollution situation in Delhi-NCR an “emergency” and suggested curbing a shutdown in the national capital.

“There was a discussion in the Supreme Court about whether a complete blockade can be established if the situation worsens. We are working on what the blockade will entail … we are not imposing the blockade. We are drafting a proposal that we will place in front of the Supreme Court. It will be discussed with all agencies because it will be an extreme step. The Center will also be taken in confidence. If such a situation arises, the construction, the vehicular movement could have to stop, “Kejriwal said.

Among the 10 most polluted cities in the world, 3 are from India. See the full list here

As every year, Delhi-NCR’s smog situation worsened after Diwali, exacerbated by stubble burning in neighboring states. The worsening air situation was being flagged by air quality monitoring agencies, and the Central Pollution Control Board sounded an emergency on Friday. In an advisory, the Board advised people not to venture outdoors and suggested that government and private offices can switch to working from home to reduce vehicular pollution.

“Weather conditions will be highly unfavorable for the dispersal of pollutants until November 18 in view of low winds with calm conditions overnight,” the advisory said.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana said on Saturday that the situation in Delhi is so bad that people wear masks inside their homes. On the usual exercise of blaming ‘stubble burning’ for the pollution of Delhi during the onset of winter, the Supreme Court court said there are other reasons for the pollution, such as vehicular emissions, firecrackers and dust, and point out that stubble burning is not the solution.

When the Supreme Court heard the matter of contamination, it specifically expressed its concern about the schools in the national capital, as they have resumed physical classes as of November 1. “We understand that a percentage is stubble burning. The rest is biscuits, vehicular pollution, industries, dust pollution, etc. You tell us how to bring AQI levels from 500 to 200 points in Delhi. Take some immediate urgent action like a two-day closure, “said the court, which also includes Judges DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant.

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