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Air quality worsens, shut Delhi schools, says NCPCR

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NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Wednesday asked the Delhi government to shut schools until air quality in the national capital improves. The commission’s response came on a day when the Indian Agriculture Research Institute reported a rise of 18% in incidents of stubble burning from Punjab and Haryana compared to the previous year. Both states reported 3,800 fire incidents on Wednesday, which is the highest in the season, IARI said.

 The NCPCR has written to Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar urging him to shut schools air quality improves. The Commission has sought an action-taken report on the closing down of the schools in the city within 24 hours and a detailed report in three days.

The Air Quality Index has remained in “very poor” category days after Diwali due to unfavourable meteorological conditions including paddy straw burning in adjoining states. Farm fires accounted for 14% of the pollution in the national capital on Tuesday, 22% on Monday, 26% on Sunday and 21% on Saturday.

In a letter written by NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo, the Commission expressed concern over ‘severe’ air quality impacting the health of the children. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, air pollution in the ‘severe’ category affects healthy people and impacts children and those with existing diseases.

“It seems the Delhi government has failed to take preventive measures… the state government should consider taking appropriate action and should consider taking a decision to close down the schools till the time the air quality of the National Capital improves, in the best interest of the children,” the letter has said.NCPCR chairperson, also tweeted in Hindi, “The safety of school kids is a matter of concern due to the dangerous level of pollution in Delhi.” (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

25 Days ago