The Supreme Court of India has called for a “pollution blockade” in the capital New Delhi to protect citizens from toxic smog. The air quality in the Indian capital has been out of any norm in recent weeks.
On Monday, justice ordered authorities to ban all non-essential travel and close offices. Millions of people will be forced to work from home if the blockade is imposed and it is unclear how long it may take.
Schools are already closed for a week on Saturday to avoid the possibility of children inhaling polluted air.
Authorities in India’s capital have closed all schools and colleges indefinitely due to deteriorating levels of air pollution.
Construction work was suspended until November 21, but an exception was made for transport and defense projects. Also, only five of the 11 coal-fired power plants in the city will be allowed to operate.
The levels of PM2.5 particles in Delhi, which can block people’s lungs, are much higher than the guidelines of the World Health Organization.
Some parts of the city recorded figures close to or higher than 400, which are categorized as “heavy”.
According to the air quality index, a figure between zero and 50 is considered “good” and between 51 and 100 is “satisfactory”.
Air pollution in Delhi is influenced by a range of factors, from vehicle and industrial emissions to dust and weather.
The air becomes toxic especially in the winter months, as farmers in neighboring regions burn harvest straw.
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