Sumary of Schools close as smog-laden India capital considers lockdown:
- NEW DELHI (AP) — Schools were closed indefinitely and some coal-based power plants shut down as the smog-shrouded Indian capital and neighboring states invoked harsh measures Wednesday amid considerations of a lockdown in New Delhi to combat worsening air pollution.
- Besides the closure of schools, the Commission for Air Quality Management ordered a stop to construction activities until Nov.
- The panel also directed the states to “encourage” work from home for half of the employees in all private offices.
- Despite some improvement in New Delhi air over the past two days, readings of dangerous particles Wednesday were still as high as seven times the safe level, climbing above 300 micrograms per cubic meter in some parts of the city.
- The World Health Organization designates the safe level for the tiny, poisonous particles at 25.Forecasters warned air quality would worsen before the arrival of cold winds next week that will blow away the smog.
- Earlier this month, air quality levels fell to the “severe” category in the capital and residents faced bouts of severe, multiday pollution.
- It prompted a stern warning last week from India’s Supreme Court, which ordered state and federal governments to take “imminent and emergency” measures to tackle what it called a crisis.
- The crisis deepens particularly in the winter when the burning of crop residues in neighboring states coincides with cooler temperatures that trap deadly smoke.