Winter break in Delhi schools announced early
Following increase in pollution in Delhi, the city government has advanced winter break from November 9 to 18.
The city’s Directorate of Education said on Wednesday noted “no respite from adverse weather conditions” has been predicted over the next few days.
Normally vacation begins in December-January but looking at the city being enveloped in toxic air, the decision was taken protect children’s health. The November 9-18 holiday will be adjusted against the traditional December-January break.
Besides, the Delhi government has halted the implementation of its odd-even scheme. It said it will implement the odd-even rule in compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders.
The Government has two studies related to odd-even, which will be presented during the upcoming Supreme Court hearing.
“Subsequently, the Delhi government will make decisions in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court. Regarding controlling air pollution,” said Environment Minister Gopal Rai after a high-level meeting on Wednesday.
He said strict adherence to the directions issued by the Supreme Court will be ensured.
He said the Supreme Court has issued several crucial orders for controlling pollution. In this context, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has been directed to start the functioning of the Smog Tower at Connaught Place at full capacity by Thursday. Additionally, the Real-Time Source Apportionment study will be restarted, and its report will be made public.
These decisions taken at a meeting chaired by Rai and attended by Education Minister Atishi, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot and senior Delhi government officials.
Rai said he has given instructions to hold meetings with relevant departments for controlling air pollution and strictly adherence to Supreme Court’s orders.
“Starting Thursday, special campaign against open burning will be carried out in Delhi and 611 teams will be deployed,” Rai said.
Rai said: “For the past week, I have been urging the Central government to recognise that air pollution is a problem for the entire northern region of India. Until there is a united action plan with all northern states and the Central government, it won’t be possible to address pollution effectively. The Delhi government has implemented the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in Delhi, including Graded 1, Graded 2, Graded 3, and Graded 4 measures, as per the orders of the Central Pollution Control Board.
“However, the governments of States neighbouring Delhi have shown complete indifference to the situation. Now, it is hoped that after the Supreme Court’s directives, the Central government will convene joint meetings and make decisions on this matter.
“The Supreme Court has also made it clear that a ban on firecrackers should be enforced nationwide, with state governments implementing this ban within their respective states. This measure aims to control the pollution that typically worsens during the Diwali festival.”
Rai said the Supreme Court had discussed the impact of the odd-even rule, and two studies have been conducted in this regard.
The first study is a joint study by Harvard and the University of Chicago, and the second one is by Delhi Technical University, he said.
The reports of these two studies will be presented before the Supreme Court in the next hearing, and the decision will be made in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court, he said.